Sea Horse

Severe Gale
Stranding Of Two Vessels At South Shields
Brave Conduct Of The Lifeboatmen And Volunteer Life Brigade


About half-past seven o'clock on Saturday evening, a fearful gale from the N.N.E., accompanied by torrents rain, swept over the North- East Coast, doing, will be learned from the subjoined reports,  an immense amount of damage to  shipping and other property. The sky during the whole Saturday bore a somewhat threatening aspect, and from lowness the barometer a storm of some kind was looked for, to a certain extent, at least. At the hour above-mentioned, or as near that time possible, the wind, which had been blowing fresh for some hours previous, increased to a gale from the N.N.E. and N.E. and by N. The sea had been pretty stormy all day, but as the night advanced it began to get more tempestuous, and considerable anxiety was felt for the safety of vessels which were known to have left the Tyne that day. In case of any casualty occurring, the members of the South Shields Volunteer Life Brigade assembled at the Watch House on the South Pier in large numbers, and, unfortunately, their services were brought into operation a short time after the gale came away. Sometime before darkening, a pilot coble, manned by Wm. Young, Lancelot Burn, and James Stevenson (lad), proceeded to sea for the purpose of looking for ships, and while following that vocation were caught in the gale little to the south of the South Pier. After struggling about sometime, the gale became so furious that the occupants of the boat were compelled to run her on the beach, where, fortunately, with the assistance of the members of the Brigade, they were landed in safety, as also the boat, which was carried clear of all danger. On Saturday, at noon, the brig Sea Horse, Captain Wilson, left the Tyne, coal laden, for Aberdeen, to which port, we understand, she belongs, and is owned by a Mr Maitland there. Nothing particular appears to have occurred until within a short distance of the Coquet, at which they were caught in the gale. The captain, not feeling justified in venturing further, the aspect of affairs looking very unfavourable, gave orders to return to the Tyne, but in doing so the greatest difficulty was experienced, the gale increasing in severity almost every moment. Shortly after nine o'clock, however, the mouth of the Tyne was reached, and she was at once observed by the members of the Brigade and others, who were on the look-out. There was a fearfully heavy sea on the bar by this time, and had been for some considerable time previous, and the wind blew a perfect hurricane from the N.N.E. The Sea Horse succeeded in rounding the North Pier, and it was at one time thought she would run into the harbour in safety, but suddenly a tremendous sea struck her astern, carrying away her rudder and steering apparatus. By this accident the vessel was placed at the mercy of the storm, and the lives of the crew, to a certain extent, jeopardized. The anchors were let go, but the wind was blowing so hard, and the sea was running strong, that they were unsuccessful in staying the progress of the vessel. The crew soon gave signals of distress, which were instantly taken up by the members of the Life Brigade. A signal was put up at the South Pier, which was answered by the firing of three guns from Tynemouth Battery, and repeated by three more from the Castor. In a very short space of time, the Tyne and Providence lifeboats, of South Shields, and the Northumberland, of North Shields, were manned and their way to the distressed vessel. The Sea Horse during the whole of this time was being buffeted and knocked about in all directions, she having parted her anchors, and every moment she was expected to run ashore. Attempts were made several steamboats, which had been attracted to the scene by the signal guns, to save the vessel, but the gale was blowing so furious that all their efforts were frustrated. Ultimately, the brig stranded at or near the jetty which is erected to the north of the South Pier. The sea still continued to roll very high, and the wind had not moderated in the least degree. The greatest caution had, therefore, had to be exercised by the crews of the lifeboats in approaching the stranded vessel. After several ineffectual attempts, the Tyne, amidst the hearty cheers of those assembled on the pier, succeeded getting hold of the vessel with the grappling iron, the crew—7 number, including the captain—seeing there was danger in staying on board the ship any longer, sprang into the lifeboat, and were landed at the lifeboat station house at South Shields, where warm clothing, stimulants, and provisions were provided for them. The abandoned vessel subsequently drifted close by the pier up to the brigade house. Upon it becoming known the crew had been rescued, the people who had congregated on the pier, stiffened and cold with the spray which had been splashing about them for two or three hours, began to turn their faces homewards, thinking, perhaps, that all was over, and congratulating themselves that so far no lives had been lost.

When the crew of the Sea Horse was rescued, the Tyne was manned as follows:—Andrew Harrison (superintendent), Jacob Burn (superintendent), John Hutchison, jun., William Marshall, George Harrison, J. C. Stephenson, James Purvis, Thomas Stephenson, Robert Chambers (1), Michael Duncan, John Marshall, John Wells, Heslop Wright, John Houlsby, Thomas Brown, Andrew Purvis, John Purvis, Wm. Wright, John Stewart, Robert Chambers (2), Jacob Harrison, James Marshall.

Source:  Shields Daily Gazette 18 Oct 1869


The Stranding Of The Schooners Friends And Sea Horse

 The schooner Sea Horse, of Aberdeen, which was driven ashore to the north of the south pier during the gale on Saturday evening, has become, as was expected from the first, a total wreck. This morning a number of men are busily engaged stripping her, and we understand the hull of the vessel and her cargo (coals) are to be sold on Friday first. The schooner Friends, of Aberdeen, which came ashore about 100 yards above the Sea Horse the same evening, is considerably damaged, but it expected that she will get off if the weather keeps at all moderate. Her cargo (iron and timber) is being discharged on South Pier.

Source: Shields Daily Gazette 20 October 1869

BE SOLD BY PUBLIC AUCTION, at the South Pier, South Shields, on Friday, October, 22nd, 1869, at 10 o'Clock in the Forenoon, punctually, to suit the tide, W. G. TATE & SON, Auctioneers,

The HULL with the Lower and Topmasts, and Bowsprit of the Brig Sea Horse, of Aberdeen, 130 Tons per Register, as it may then and there lie. Also, the whole of the COALS on Board will be Sold, in a separate lot.

At the same time will sold, on the Pier, near the Hull, the whole of the STORES saved, consisting of Anchors, Cables, Kedges, Hawser Chains, New 81/2 in. Hemp Towline, Warps, the whole of the Sails (several of them new.) Standing and Running Rigging and Gear, Blocks, Small Chain, and all the other Stores.

Particulars may be had of the Auctioneers, or of John Ochiltree, Quayside, Newcastle-on- Tyne