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Caithness Field Club Bulletin
October 1985

D. Anderson

12. 3.1839 Brig "Thomas Dougall" of Leith wrecked at Occumster near Clyth. 5 men lost - 8 men saved by Robert McAlistair and crew of coopers who launched a small boat.

21.11.1847 Sloop "Sisters" of Dundee ashore in gale east of Wick harbour. Crew of 4 rescued by Wick pilot boat in strong gale.

5.10.1847 Norwegian schooner "Familien" wrecked at back of North Quay - crew rescued by ropes over back of North Quay.

7.10.1847 Brig "Warrior" of Montrose wrecked near old castle at Keiss - crew of 9 rescued by rocket arrangements.

25. 2.1848 Fishing vessel "Ann" of Portknockie wrecked at back of North Quay - crew rescued by ropes during gale from ESE.

5. 3.1848 Brig "Margaret Littlejohn" driven up back of North Quay - crew rescued by ropes.

20. 3.1848 Brig "Victoria" of Aberdeen wrecked on Proudfoot, crew of six launched small boat in heavy swell and were washed up on rocks.

19. 8.1848 The great gale. Over 30 vessels were wrecked in the immediate vicinity of Wick harbour and thirty seven fishermen lost their lives. Because of this disaster a new lifeboat for Wick was provided by the British Fishery Society on 11.11.1848.

23. 3.1849 Schooner "Bligh" of Wick went ashore on North side of Wick Bay - refloated later.

24. 7.1849 Seventeen small fishing boats caught in gale - one driven up the back of North Quay and wrecked while attempting to enter harbour. The lifeboat was launched and stayed with the other sixteen before escorting them to harbour several hours later.

15. 8.1850 Huna fishing boat sank quickly after striking the Orkneyman Rock at Broadhaven - crew of 5 rescued by local boat.

8. 9. 1857 Dutch galliot "Vron Jantina". During a rescue attempt by Wick lifeboat, three of the lifeboat crew were washed overboard. Two were rescued but Alexander Bain (left a widow and seven children) was lost. The lifeboat was washed ashore at harbour mouth.

2. 9. 1858 Schooner "Henry" of Lossiemouth driven ashore on north side of Wick Bay - crew rescued by small boats in spite of high seas.

17.9. 1858 Schooner" Eva" of Aberdeen was abandoned at anchor just off the rocks in SSE gale and crew were rescued by Wick lifeboat. The vessel rode out the gale and was recovered two days later when the weather moderated.

6. 9.1859 Schooner "Huntress" in trouble at anchor in Wick Bay in ESE gale - crew of seven rescued by Wick lifeboat.

19.12.1870 Aukengill boat with three men wrecked near Noss Head. Wick lifeboat was transported to Ackergill by road but was unable to help because of heavy seas -all were lost.

4. 2.1871 Schooner "Braes of Enzie" in difficulties in Sinclair Bay. Wick lifeboat transported by road to Ackergill and rescued the crew.

22. 8.1871 "Mary Anne" of East Clyth and "Vine" of Pulteneytown collided at mouth of Wick Bay. Both vessels sank and one man was lost.

24. 8.1871 Sloop "Anne Rose" of Fraserburgh was wrecked near Noss Head in southerly gale. Crew rescued by boat from Ackergill.

20.11.1860 Sloop "Maria" of Wick in distress near Noss Head. Wick lifeboat was alerted and left by road for Ackergill. Because of urgency of situation Capt. Tudor and nine other launched Caithness Steam Shipping Co.'s landing boat and rescued crew of two from certain death.

9. 9.1876 Fishing vessel WK726 wrecked at back of North Quay - 3 rescued by pilot boat but four lost.

22.12.1876 Russian barque "Au Revior" of Riga wrecked near Keiss castle. Crew of eleven rescued by rocket line.

23.12.1876 Schooner "Emelie" of Wolgasl (German) wrecked north of Ackergill Tower. 1 man saved but 5 of crew lost. While attempting rescue a small boat manned by local men capsized and four men were lost.

Because of this incident the RNLI established a lifeboat station at Ackergill in 1878.

16.10.1883 Schooner "Fridealk" of Norway anchored in high seas near rocks at north side of Wick Bay - crew of five rescued by Wick lifeboat.

10. 2.1884 Schooner "Fern" of London In difficulties in severe southerly gate near Levack's harbour on north side of Wick Bay. Crew were unable to board lifeboat in high seas. Vessel later towed to safety by steam trawler "Royal Duke" of North Shields.

1.12.1885 Barque "Njord" ran ashore and was wrecked near Port Dunbar during SE gale. 1 man drowned - 10 rescued by Wick lifeboat.

11. 1.1887 Seven fishing vessels in difficulties in Sinclair Bay. 30 people were rescued by Ackergill lifeboat and about 20 by the steamer boat manned by volunteers.

30. 3.1887 Trawler "George Smith" of North Shields was driven ashore near river mouth - crew of seven landed by lifeboat at Baikie's harbour.

30. 3.1887 The Boathaven fishing vessel WK395 was blown out to sea by strong westerly gale. The fishing vessel Maria WK1444 with a volunteer crew rescued six men in terrible conditions and landed them at Lybster.

8. 5.1889 Brig "Hermick" went ashore south of Keiss. A local boat rescued the crew of eight. Two days later the crew had returned to salvage possessions were trapped when sudden gale and high seas occurred. Ackergill lifeboat, in attempting rescue, was struck by tremendous sea and washed up on the beach. The crew of the Hermick were later rescued by rocket lines.

30. 1.1895 Steamer "St. Clair" while leaving Wick harbour was driven ashore at the back of North Quay. Crew of 32 and 5 passengers were rescued by rocket line as lifeboat stood by.

16. 9.1892 Smack "Gem" of Dublin wrecked near Ackergill Tower - 4 rescued by Ackergill lifeboat.

2. 6.1895 Steamer "State of Georgia" ashore at mouth of Wester Burn - refloated later.

26. 2.1896 Fishing vessel "Isabella" of Wick driven ashore on sandbank at Wick river mouth. The pilot boat first attempted a rescue but was swamped at harbour mouth and driven ashore - Crew of six of lsabella rescued by lifeboat.

31. 10. 1898 Trawler "Manchester City" went ashore in Pentland Firth

10. 8.1899 Steamer "Ardmore" of Glasgow wrecked on Ness Reef in Pentland Firth.

1. 5.1900 Swedish barque "Hans" wrecked at Broadhaven.

2. 5.1900 Steam ship "Shaw" of Aberdeen ashore in Wick Bay - two saved by lifeboat.

6.10.1900 Steamer "Champion" struck the little Skerry - crew landed by Huna lifeboat.

On 11th November during salvage operation, a gale sprang up and Wick lifeboat rescued 5 men from the Little Skerry.

9. 1.1901 Zulu fishing boat "Brilliant" (BF 1983) was driven ashore behind North Quay. 5 saved and 1 lost.

17.11.1902 Sloop "Catherine" of Wick in difficulties in gale at Sinclair Bay - 3 crew rescued by Ackergill lifeboat.

2. 1.1903 Steam drifter "Violet" of Helmsdale driven ashore north of Wester
Burn - 1 rescued by Ackergill lifeboat and 1 drowned.

11. 3.1905 4 small fishing boats in difficulties north of Proudfoot. Ackergill rescued three crews and landed them at Ackergill. As Wick lifeboat was leaving harbour it was struck by heavy seas and washed up the back of North Quay. The crew were rescued by ropes and the lifeboat was later recovered from the rocks badly damaged.

11 . 6.1935 S.S. Cormorant of Kirkwall - escorted vessel to safety.

28. 3.1936 Cargo steamer "Osterhav" of Finland struck rocks near Duncansby Head in thick fog. It was later refloated and beached near cable hut at Reiss. Wick lifeboat rescued 25 men, 4 women and the captain's dog.

10.2. 1938 M. F. V. " lvo Luc" of Zeebrugge -saved boat and 4

3. 7.1938 Drifter "Sailor King" of Lowestoft - gave help

29. 9.1938 R.A. F. Flying Boat L 2237 crashlanded in sea near Helman Head. The lifeboat saved crew of four and while under tow the plane capsized and sank.

2. 9.1939 TrawIer "Washington" of Grimsby went ashore near Duncansby Head. Later refloated and escorted to Wick.

2. 9.39 Trawler "Navarre" of Grimsby went ashore in thick fog near Skirza Head. 9 were rescued by Wick lifeboat and 2 by the rocket apparatus - vessel was total loss.

25. 9.39 Aberdeen trawler "Star of Victory" went ashore near Keiss Harbour. In rough breaking seas the lifeboat rescued crew of 10.

On the 29.9.39 a salvage team went aboard and were trapped by a sudden squall. 7 were rescued by lifeboat.

20. 3.40 Danish steamers Bothal (3000 tons ) and Viking (1500 tons) were torpedoed 30 miles east of Wick. The lifeboat saved 7.

30. 4.40 Steam trawler "Strathalford" of Aberdeen was driven ashore on the north side of Wick bay. The rocket apparatus saved 5 and the lifeboat 2.

24. 5.40 S. S. Ford Fisher of London - gave assistance and saved vessel.

23. 9.40 Fishing vessel "Glad Tidings" of Lybster - saved boat and 4.

22.10.40 Fishing smack "Havlynd" of Norway - saved boat and 4.

14. 2.41 S. S. "Dromera" of Belfast - while on passage this vessel developed heavy list. Wick lifeboat rescued thirteen when vessel capsized just off "Old Man of Wick".

21.9.42 HMS St. Olaves and MV Gold Crown were driven ashore in the NE gale. Wick lifeboat rescued 31 members of crew from both vessels.

4. 1.46 Motor fishing vessel "Glad Tidings" of Lybster- saved boat and 3 when engine failed near Proudfoot.

4.11.49 MFV Godetia was disabled at fishing grounds near Wick. The lifeboat saved boat and crew of 4.

22. 9.51 The lifeboat rescued man marooned on rocks at Berriedaie Head.

13.12.51 Fishing vessel "Crest" of Thurso - saved 2 men.

22. 9.55 Granton trawler "Euclase" (GN51) went ashore just south of Duncansby Stacks. The vessel was wrecked and lifeboat rescued crew of 12.

29. 4.56 Fishing boat "Hopeful" of Thurso - saved vessel and 4.

18. 9.53 Grimsby trawler "Hassett" ran ashore near Aukengill in heavy seas. Fifteen were rescued by breeches buoy but five were swept away and drowned.

3. 2.56 Tanker "Dovrefjell" of Norway went ashore on south side of Little Skerries. Longhope and Wick lifeboats stood by. Crew of 41 were rescued by RN and RAF helicopters and landed at John o' Groats.

18. 4.57 Wick fishing boats "Economy" and "Willing Boys" were towed to safety from Sinclair Bay in winds of over 70 mph - 7 men were saved.

29. 6.57 Aberdeen trawler "Carency" (A129) ran ashore in thick fog at Greenigoe (near Papigoe). Just after lifeboat rescued crew of thirteen, the vessel rolled over and sank.

5. 2.57 Trawler "Warwick Deeping" of Hull was leaking in winds gust to 100 mph, thirty four miles east of Wick. The lifeboat and fishery cruiser "Bramble" stood by until danger was over.

18. 1.58 Trawler "Jean Stephen" of Aberdeen ran ashore near cable hut at Reiss.

17. 6.58 Whaler "Brodrene Saevik" of Norway - saved boat and crew of 6.

7.10.58 Aberdeen trawler "Ben Meidie" went aground on Pentland Skerries and became a total loss. Crew of 13 rescued by lifeboat.

9. 1.59 Fishery cruiser "Freya" of Leith sank off Sarclet Head.

3. 3.59 S.S. "Stellatus" of Halingberg (Sweden) went ashore near Freswick and later broke her back - crew of 26 landed at Wick by lifeboat.

2.12.59 Fishing vessel "Rosebank" of Wick leaking badly in Sinclair Bay. Crew of two rescued by lifeboat and vessel later sank.

6. 9.60 Fishing Vessel "Maire Bhan" of Wick disabled - lifeboat saved vessel and 3.

4. 9.60 Coaster "Ashdene" of Sunderland disabled twenty miles south of Wick. Towed to Wick by Iifeboat.

9. 1.61 Faroese M/T Else ran ashore near John o' Groats. 5 were rescued by Stroma boat "Girl Elsie" and 2 by lifeboat. Vessel became total loss.

8. 3.61 MFV "Loyal Friend" of Fraserburgh ran ashore on the Little Skerry - crew of five were rescued by means of a small dinghy and transferred to Iifeboat -wrecked.

27. 4.63 MFV "Morning Star" went ashore on Proudfoot - later towed clear.

30. 4.63 Fishing vessel "Seonaid" of Lybster went ashore two miles south of Wick. Crew of 2 were rescued by lifeboat from the rocks.

14. 4.64 MFV "Girl Betty" of Peterhead went ashore on Proudfoot, The lifeboat rescued crew of 7, vessel was wrecked.

19. 8.66 Danish trawler "Robert Schou" of Fredrickshaven ran ashore on Proudfoot. Lifeboat rescued crew of five. Vessel slipped off rocks at low water and sailed to Wick harbour.

24. 8.67 Fishing boat "Boy Peter" went ashore on the "Tails of Elzy". Towed clear later.

15. 9.67 MV "Olive" and Hull trawler "Artic Corsair" collided near Duncansby Head in thick fog. M.V. Olive was escorted to Wick and Artic Corsair was beached in Reiss bay for repairs before making Wick Harbour.

11. 6.68 Orkney FV "Enterprise" of Westray ran ashore near Papigoe - refloated later.

27. 3.69 Trawler "James Barrie" of Hull struck Louther Rock between the Pentland Skerries. Crew of 21 rescued by Wick lifeboat. James Barrie slid off rocks later and sank while under tow.

17. 9.72 Fishing boat "Silver Cloud" of Wick was disabled off Sarclet Head - boat and crew of three towed to Wick.

18.12.73 MFV "Tern" disabled north of Keiss - saved boat and 3.

29. 1.77 MFV "Tern" sank off Duncansby Head

13. 8.77 Cargo Vessel "Pioneer Commander" of USA ran ashore on Louther Skerry - refloated 10 days later.

17. 2.81 Pilot boat "Avenger" disabled in Wick Bay - saved boat and 3.

21. 5.81 Wick fishing boat "Andreas" struck rocks near Sarclet Head and quickly sank. Four men were rescued from liferaft by lifeboat.

4. 6.81 Fishing vessel "Scottish Maid" ran ashore between Staxigoe and Noss Head. Crew of three rescued but vessel became total loss.