Norwegian Brig on the Herd
Loss of Life

The weather yesterday was very stormy, with a strong wind blowing from the NE and a heavy sea on the bar. There was a good deal of anxiety manifested as to the vessels going out and coming in, and various look-out spots were crowded all day. Nothing happened, however, although one or two vessels had a narrow escape from touching the Herd, and one large vessel had to put back in consequence of her tow rope breaking. A little after eight o’clock a laden brig was seen making for the harbour in tow of a steamer. She was rolling a good deal, and as she crossed the bar pitched heavily, and it was seen that something had gone, for she suddenly swerved towards the south pier, and then threw out signals of distress. As soon as it was seen that she was in danger the South Shields lifeboats Providence, Joseph Smith, coxswain, and the Tyne, A. Harrison, coxswain, were launched and pulled rapidly down to the scene ,while the alarm gun being fired , the South Shields Brigade mustered speedily in large numbers, and were superintended by Mr Luscombe of the Coastguard, who fired a rocket which was in capital line, but fell short. Before another could be fired it was soon that the lifeboat got down. On their getting off the brig they found that the work would be pretty stiff as the sea was breaking heavily over the brig. The Tyne was taken alongside however, and a rope got out to the brig to hold on by, and the men were called upon to jump into the boat, and with the exception of one man, named Karl Olaves , who jumped at the wrong time, all were got safely into the lifeboat. Karl, poor fellow, fell short in his leap, and was swept away in an instant by a heavy sea, before any attempt to rescue him, and was drowned. The crew were taken up to the Coble Landing and found shelter in the Half Moon public house, Mrs Hogg’s, where everything possible was done for their comfort. The vessel proved to be the brig Hygoea, Captain H. Lowe, of and from Kragero to Sunderland with timber. She made the coast yesterday afternoon, and finding that she was not able to make the Wear through the stress of weather, bore up for the Tyne , off which they were taken in tow by the William. They got on all well, till just when on the bar the tow line parted, and although sail was got on the brig as speedily as possible, before it had any influence on the vessel she was on the Herd. She bumped heavily at first, and the cargo partially shifted, but it became easier  on the captain having the masts cut away. It was a little before low water when she struck, and she was then too far out for the rocket to reach her. She remained on the sand all night, but about four o’clock in the morning the crew of the South Shields salvage boat, James Mather, got on board of her, and with some trouble managed to get her afloat, and brought her up to Salmon’s Quay where she now lies.

Source: Shields Daily Gazette 2 March 1866

First Callout

The South Shields Volunteer Life Brigade turned out nobly on Thursday night, and although their work was better done by their gallant rivals, the lifeboat men, yet the event might easily have been different, and it was some consolation to think that had the lifeboat been unable to get near the stranded vessel, there was an efficient force ready to take up the work of saving the lives of its crew. The corps is rapidly completing its organisation, and a few more drills will render them adepts in the use the apparatus. The South Shields lifeboat men deserve great praise for the alacrity with which they got their boats out on the occasion to which we have referred. Truly, they do not belie their motto, “Always ready.” Only five and twenty minutes elapsed from the time they were summoned till they had their work done, and had saved the lives of seven human beings. As usual, the report is that the ways of the North Shields lifeboat were choked up, and she could not be got out in time. It is perfectly disgraceful that this complaint should be made so often, and it is to be hoped that the committee will do something to provide remedy.

Source: Shields Daily Gazette 3 March 1866

Thursday March 1st 1866 at 8.00 the Brig. “Hygeo” of Norway, load timber, from Norway & bound to Sunderland was entering the Tyne for refuge in tow of a steamer & the rope breaking the Vessel drove on the herd Sands the boats Tyne & Providence were immediately launched together proceeded down found the vessel masts by the Boards & succeeded after much labour in taking out 7 men (her crew consisting of eight) the other one being drowned between the ship & boat the vessel afterwards floated at high water tide 1 ½ hours ebb off low tide. Wind NNE gales the men saved were

H. Love {Captain}

Charil Hustin {Mate}

Lares Gunderson {Seaman}

Charil Kustrunsen {Seamen}

Halror Olsa {Seamen}

Emil Krustrunsen {Seamen}

D Freessen {Seamen}


The Tyne Boat the crew were manned by 18 hands viz

Andrew Harrison

W.W. Young

Thomas Stewart

James Stewart

Mathew Heslop

William Purvis

John Houlsby

Michael Purvis

James Purvis

Robert Chamber

William Purvis

John Ridley

Andrew Purvis

John Harrison

William Young 2nd

Robert Young 2nd

Paid 18 men @ 10/6

Providence was manned by 19 hands viz

Joseph Smith

George Smith

John Marshall

Benj. Peel

Robert Young 2nd

Wm. Young

Robert Young 3rd

John Shotton

James Carr

Henry Johnson

Robert Chambers

Robert Shotton

Peter Stephenson

Mathew Stephenson

Edward Tinmouth

George Chambers

John Young

Thomas Brown

Wm. Wright


Paid 19 men @ 10/6

The Northumberland was also launched sometime after but did not get down below the point the Crew claimed their pay but the Trustees would not pay it cost £1/10/10 but Boat back into the House

Source: Tyne Lifeboat Institution Sevice Log


Shields March 2 – The Hygea  (brig), Lowe, of and from Krageroe, with timber and battens, came ashore on the Herd Sand last night; the vessel has since been got off by boatmen with loss of masts, &c; one man drowned, rest of crew saved by the lifeboat.

Source: London Standard 5 March 1866