Pendeen Wrecks & Rescues
SERIOUS ACCIDENT TO RESCUERS - STEAMER ASHORE AT PENDEEN
Royal Cornwall Gazette, August 25, 1898
The screw steamer Oria, 2000 tons, from Swansea to Venice with coal, grounded near Pendeen Cove at ten o’clock on Saturday night. the Oria refloated at four o’clock on sunday morning and subsequently proceeded to Falmouth. The women, and even youngsters of the coastguard station, joined in the effort to rescue. On the way down the cliffs in fogs and darkness a lamenable accident occurred. Mr. Sheppard, Chief Officer, headed his men. Mrs. Fry, one of the coastguard’s wife carried a lantern. In the darkness Mr. sheppard seemed to slip. Mrs. Fry grasped him by the collar, but in another minute both had fallen over a 12 ft. ledge of cliff.
Mr. Sheppard, a stout, heavy man, sustained a compound fracture of the left leg just eight inched above the ankle. But his head was also struck, and for a time he was unconcious. Mrs. Fry sustained a severe blow on the head. Mr. Sheppard’s leg was bound up, but unfortunately the difficulty in carrying him up the cliffs resulted in the fractured bone breaking through the skin, and there was much hemorrage ere the bone was replaced and the wound closed. Dr. Nesbitt and his assistant promptly aided the suffers.
Steamer in Danger Near Lands End.
ACCIDENT TO A COASTGUARD OFFICER
Cornish Echo August 26 1898
Just where the steamer Bushy and the tug Warrior came to grief recently, and in a dangerous place which events show again and again requires additional warnings by lighthouse or explosive rockets, a steamer has had a fortunate escape. On Saturday evening, as on Saturday morning, a dense fog prevailed on St. Just’s cliffs. The night fog was low, because above it from the land the stare were visible. About ten p.m. the sea was smooth, the wind S.E., and the tide was half ebb, when the Pendeen Coastguard found that a vessel was ashore on a flat ledge of reeks about sixty yards from the cliff. They fired five warning rockets, not knowing precisely what her state, but these seem not to have been seen on board, Rockets discharged, the life-saving apparatus was promptly got out and taken down the precipitous and dangerous cliffs in fog and darkness, The women and even the youngsters of the Coastguard station, joined the men in the effort to rescue endangered fellow creatures. On the way down the cliffs a lamentable accident occurred, Mr Sheppard, chief officer, headed his men. Mrs Fry, wife of one of the Coastguards, carried a lantern. In the darkness Mr Sheppard seemed to slip. Mrs Fry grasped him by the collar, but in another minute both had fallen over a 12ft. ledge of cliff. Leaving them for the time, the other Coastguards found a safer way down and fired their rocket, which established communication between shore and stranded craft.
This turned out to he the iron, English built, fore and aft 2,000 ton steamer Oria belonging to Messrs Bailey and Lethan, of Hull. She left Swansea on Saturday for Venice with coal and general cargo, All went well until she struck, as described.
The captain could now be hailed from the shore. He had found that his vessel was not making water, and trusted to the turn of the tide and no shift of the wind. At his request the breeches buoy was made use of to send the best local pilot on board. This was done., and the steamer’s boats laid out anchors and made all proper preparations to get the Oria off. .l. soon as possible also Falmouth was apprised of the need of a tug.
Let us return now to poor Mr. Sheppard. A stout, heavy man, he had sustained a compound fracture of the left leg just eight inches above the ankle. But his head was also struck, and for a time he was unconscious. Mrs Fry sustained a severe blow in the head, which raised a lump as big as a fist. Mr Sheppard’s leg was bound up, but unfortunately the difficulty of carrying him up the cliffs resulted in the fractured bone breaking through the skin, and there was much hemorrhage ere the hone was replaced and the wound closed Dr Nesbitt and his assistant promptly aided the sufferer.
Captain Edwards, of the Oria, had completed hie arrangements, and about five o’clock on Sunday morning his steamer was successfully hauled off the Bal Lawn reef, and in half an hour more was off for Falmouth. Mr ,James Fisher, fisherman, Bojewyan, St. Just. is said to be the man with local seafaring knowledge who assisted Captain Edwards. Much sympathy is felt for Mr Sheppard, so seriously hurt while exerting himself to assist endangered mariners.
FATALITY TO A COASTGUARD OFFICER
Royal Cornwall Gazette, September 29, 1898
Mr. G. H. Shephard, Chief Officer of coast-guard, Pendeen, St. Just, who died Sunday morning, met with an accident on the night of Saturday, August 28th, when the large steamer Oria of Hull, from Swansea to Venice, ran ashore at Pendeen. Mr. Shephard was in charge of the rocket apparatus, and during the making of the communication between shore and vessel and when moving from one part of the cliff to the other, it being pitch dark at the time, the only illumination being from a few lanterns carried mostly by the wives of the coastguardmen he fell over the edge. The cliff at this point slopes away, and as Mr. Shephard was falling Mrs. Fry, wife of one of the coastguards, who was holding a lantern, caught the officer by the collar of his coat and broke the force of his fall. Mrs. Fry was badly bruised and Mr. Shephard sustained a bad compund fracture of the leg. It was thought that the officer would recover, but he died Sunday. Mr. shephard was much respected throughout the service, and his loss is much regretted. Deceased leaves a widow and several children.