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Tyne and Wear HER(14147): Tynemouth, Black Middens, Helena - Details

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N Tyneside

Tynemouth, Black Middens, Helena



Maritime Craft

Sailing Vessel


Post Medieval



Feb. 8th 1870. The barque HELENA of Scarborough, when running for the Tyne entrance, during a gale of wind from the east, and a heavy sea running, was driven ashore on the Black Middens. The lifeboats NORTHUMBERLAND and TYNE went to her assistance, and rescued the crew of 14 hands and one coasting pilot. (1) The Shields Gazette of 9th February 1870 reports: "Between 2 and 3 o'clock yesterday afternoon, snow began to fall thickly and the gale now blowing from the south-west perceptibly increased in violence. About an hour afterwards, the signal guns from the Spanish Battery and HMS CASTOR were fired. Crowds of people soon gathered...but the attention of those on shore and the efforts of the Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade were at first directed to a large barque (the HELENA of Scarborough) which had been driven on the rocks about 300 yards to the south-east of the Brigade house. The dangerous position of the vessel had been observed before she struck, almost simultaneously at the Brigade and Lifeboat houses, and ere the signal guns were fired, the crews of the lifeboats NORTHUMBERLAND and TYNE had launched, and pulled off towards the vessel... ...The NORTHUMBERLAND succeeded in picking up the crew and landed them at the low lights, then they were taken to the Dolphin Inn..." (2) Barque of 448 tons; entry stamped "wrecked". (3) Built: 1856 (3) Where Built: Sunderland (3) Construction: felt and yellow metal; copper fastened (3) Master: W Wilson (3) Crew: 14 (1) Passengers: 1 (1) Owner: H Smith, Scarborough (3) Lloyd's Classification: AE1 (3)




(1) Boswell Whitaker 1979 Preservation of life from shipwreck, volume 1 : Skuetender lifeboat Page(s)110 (2) by Boswell Whitaker 1980 Preservation of life from shipwreck, volume 3 : Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade Page(s)30-1 (3) Lloyd's 1964 Lloyd's register of British and foreign shipping 1869, No.262(H) (4) National Monuments Record (1367391)

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