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Some Incidents Involving
Wick And Ackergill Lifeboats
A 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
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.