Swansea and Port Talbot Docks History

Bristol Channel Shipwrecks 1687-1983

The following is a comprehensive list gathered from many sources. It is rather protracted, but in chronological order which allows scrolling to a particular year.

Among the chronicles of maritime disaster are many stories of immense individual bravery and heroism.

1687- The “Mary of Newnham”, Pyle for Bristol. Wrecked on Margam Sands.

1703 - The “Richard and John” & her prize the “Bandera” from Virginia were both lost with all hands at the entrance to the river Avon.

1705 - Two customs boats wrecked at the entrance to the river Avon with the loss of 22 officers.

1737 - The snow “Pye” and the brig” Priscilla” carrying tobacco from Virginia, both went aground at Nash Point. Some 300-400 people stripped the ships of their cargo . They even burnt the hulls to get the ironwork.

1739- February 19th. The sloop “Mary” wrecked at the mouth of the Kenfig River.

1752 - The Indian Prince, of Bristol, with a cargo of sugar, rum, cotton, ebony and ivory, from Guinea, went aground at Stout Point, Llantwit Major. The cargo was looted freely by the local people.

1753- December 12th , “Le Vainquer” a French vessel bound for Bristol, was wrecked off Sker Point. Eight crew saved but two perished.

1757- 9th September - the collier Marie wrecked at Lundy with the loss of all hands.

1760- 28th November -The Admiralty tender Caesar (Captain Adam Hood) with a smaller tender named Reeves were lying at anchor in Mumbles Roads waiting to set sail on a Press Gang mission along the coast. The Caesar set sail for Carmarthen Bay but the weather was severe and he told his pilot to take the boat back to Mumbles. The pilot made an error and mistook Pwlldu Head on the Gower for Mumbles Head and as a result the ship hit the rocks near the headland. Some of the crew got ashore and climbed the cliffs, but during the night the ship broke up and the 68 pressed men already taken aboard, who were locked in the hold, all died. The place on the headland where the bodies were buried is known as Gravesend.

1767 - the brigantine “Friendship”, Philadelphia for Bristol, was driven ashore on the backside of Whitford Burrows. Two crewmembers perished.

1768 – April, the “Eagle”, Pisagua in Chile for Bristol was wrecked at Whitford Point.

1769- January, the French ship “ La Concorde” carrying rum and brandy capsized near Aberthaw, Glamorgan. It is said that before the officials were able to get to her some 2000 people had gathered and were attacking the wreck with hatchets to "save" the cargo. 35 people are said to have died on the beach from excessive drinking and were buried there.

1770- On 3rd June the Dutch West India-man “Planters Welvard” on passage from Surinam to the Netherlands was blown off course and into the Bristol Channel where she was blown ashore at Porthcawl Point. Fifteen crew and passengers perished, including three children named Jackert who were on their way to school in the Netherlands. The cargo of coffee, cocoa and cotton was plundered by the locals. The victims of this shipwreck were buried in Newton graveyard.

1739- February 19th. The sloop “Mary” wrecked at the mouth of the Kenfig River.

1752 - The Indian Prince, of Bristol, with a cargo of sugar, rum, cotton, ebony and ivory, from Guinea, went aground at Stout Point, Llantwit Major. The cargo was looted freely by the local people.

1753- December 12th , “Le Vainquer” a French vessel bound for Bristol, was wrecked off Sker Point. Eight crew saved but two perished.

1757- 9th September - the collier Marie wrecked at Lundy with the loss of all hands.

1760- 28th November -The Admiralty tender Caesar (Captain Adam Hood) with a smaller tender named Reeves were lying at anchor in Mumbles Roads waiting to set sail on a Press Gang mission along the coast. The Caesar set sail for Carmarthen Bay but the weather was severe and he told his pilot to take the boat back to Mumbles. The pilot made an error and mistook Pwlldu Head on the Gower for Mumbles Head and as a result the ship hit the rocks near the headland. Some of the crew got ashore and climbed the cliffs, but during the night the ship broke up and the 68 pressed men already taken aboard, who were locked in the hold, all died. The place on the headland where the bodies were buried is known as Gravesend.

1767 - the brigantine “Friendship”, Philadelphia for Bristol, was driven ashore on the backside of Whitford Burrows. Two crewmembers perished.

1768 – April, the “Eagle”, Pisagua in Chile for Bristol was wrecked at Whitford Point.

1769- January, the French ship “ La Concorde” carrying rum and brandy capsized near Aberthaw, Glamorgan. It is said that before the officials were able to get to her some 2000 people had gathered and were attacking the wreck with hatchets to "save" the cargo. 35 people are said to have died on the beach from excessive drinking and were buried there.

1770- On 3rd June the Dutch West India-man “Planters Welvard” on passage from Surinam to the Netherlands was blown off course and into the Bristol Channel where she was blown ashore at Porthcawl Point. Fifteen crew and passengers perished, including three children named Jackert who were on their way to school in the Netherlands. The cargo of coffee, cocoa and cotton was plundered by the locals. The victims of this shipwreck were buried in Newton graveyard.

1776 – July 7th, the Padstow sloop “Seaflower”, foundered off Pwll Du. The body of the Master, Captain Thomas Retallick was washed up on Oxwich beach and lies buried in the churchyard.

1781- December 28th . The “Caterina” ran onto Sker Point. Hundreds of local people converged on the wreck and started plundering the cargo of cotton, currants, brandy and other goods totally indifferent to the sufferance of the crew. The newly formed Fellowship put a guard on the ship and a riot broke out which resulted in three people being killed. The looters were later arrested and transferred to Hereford gaol to prevent the locals from releasing them. One man called John Webb was later hanged.

1782 – the “Endeavour”, Hayle for Swansea with copper ore, was driven ashore and wrecked at Oxwich Point.

1784 – January 10th, the “Saetia Mazzed” was driven ashore at Llangennith and wrecked.

1781- December 28th . The “Caterina” ran onto Sker Point. Hundreds of local people converged on the wreck and started plundering the cargo of cotton, currants, brandy and other goods totally indifferent to the sufferance of the crew. The newly formed Fellowship put a guard on the ship and a riot broke out which resulted in three people being killed. The looters were later arrested and transferred to Hereford gaol to prevent the locals from releasing them. One man called John Webb was later hanged.

1782 – the “Endeavour”, Hayle for Swansea with copper ore, was driven ashore and wrecked at Oxwich Point.

1784 – January 10th, the “Saetia Mazzed” was driven ashore at Llangennith and wrecked.

1785 – the “Leverpool”, a Bristol bound vessel was run down off Worms Head by a vessel bound for Swansea. Five of her crew were drowned.

1790 – July 23rd, a Swansea pilot vessel capsized off the Mumbles and drowned the pilot, his son and three assistants.

1790 – the “Resolution”, London for Barnstable, sank off Worms Head with the loss of all hands.

1793 – November, the “Hayle Trader”, Bristol to Hayle, foundered off the Mumbles.

1794 – March, the sloop “Eliza”, Bridgewater for Liverpool, lost with all hands on the Mixon shoal.

1797- February 25th. The “Wyndam” outward bound from Neath to Watchet, ran onto the Nash Sands. Two crew members were saved but the rest along with the vessel were lost.

1797 - The “Sisters” of St Ives, for Neath went down with all hands off Worms Head.

1798- An unknown troop transport vessel on her way from Bristol to Ireland, carrying troops to put down a rebellion, ran aground on the Scarweather Sands. Several hundred soldiers perished and their bodies were washed ashore at Sker beach. They were buried in a mass grave in Caer Newydd at Porthcaw

1798- The “Brothers”, Bristol from America, ran onto Tusker Rock. Her crew of ten and the cargo were saved.

1799 - On 10th February HMS Weazle, a sloop of war, (Commander the Hon. Henry Grey) was at Appledore, Devon, waiting to go out anti-privateering along the Cornish coast. Leaving port that evening she cleared Bideford Bar only to hit severe weather conditions in the Bristol Channel. The commander decided to shelter under Baggy Point near Braunton, Devon. The weather worsened and the sloop was driven aground just short of the Point with the loss of all 106 officers and crew. A memorial service was held at Northam Church, Devon.

1802 - In February the Spanish ship “Nuestra Senora del Carmen”, from Bilbao for Bristol, was lost with all hands on the Scarweather Sands.

1802- December 5th, the “Friendship”, Bristol from Ireland, ran onto the Nash Sands. Five members of the crew of twelve perished. The vessel and cargo were saved.

1804 – The “ Two Sisters” of Padstow wrecked near Whitford Point.

1804 – April 23rd , the sloop “Unity”, Portreath to Neath with copper ore, struck the Mixon Shoal in a heavy gale. The Master, Captain Walker and his crew of two were lost.

1804 – November 5th , the brig “Recovery” sank in a heavy gale at the Mumbles. Her cargo of coal was later recovered and the vessel refloated with the assistance of the armed brig “Endeavour”.

1805- the “Christiana”, Bristol from Hamburg, ran onto Nash Point. Five members of the seventeen man crew perished. The vessel and cargo were saved.

1805 – June 22nd , the “Fanny”, Neath bound for Cork with a cargo of culm became stranded on Skysea. The vessel began breaking up and the crew abandoned ship and rowed for Porteynon.

1806- January 30th , the “Anne & Teresa”, Penclawdd for Bristol, ran onto the Nash Sands. The crew of three were saved, as was the cargo. The vessel was lost.

1806- On June 4th the sloop” Hope” of Bridgwater, was lost with all hands on the Mixon Sands.

1806 - On 10th December the “Trelawny”, a Bristol West Indiaman bound for Jamaica, was driven ashore on Nash Point and was smashed to pieces. The captain was killed by the fall of the mainmast, but the mate, pilot and 15 to 20 others escaped in the ship's boats. Eleven other crew and passengers were lost. Part of the cargo was saved but the vessel was a loss.

1806 –December 25th , the “Novo Moro”, Lisbon for Amsterdam. After a period of prolonged poor visibility the Master became completely disorientated and the vessel struck Port Eynon Point. The Master and eighteen other crewmen took to the longboat but on hearing the pounding surf, ran before the wind and sea and found shelter off the Mumbles a few hours later. The “Novo Moro” was a total loss but most of the cargo was saved.

1806 -November 8th. An unknown vessel ran onto the Nash Sands with the loss of all hands.

1807- the “Diligence”, Bristol from Padstow, wrecked at the approaches to Porthcawl. Five members of the seven-man crew perished.

1807 – April 11th, the Carmarthen sloop “Brothers”, Carmarthen for Bristol was driven ashore near Burry Holms. The crew and passengers were saved “with great difficulty” before the vessel was wrecked.

1808- April 5th . The brig “ Perseverance”, Bristol from Cork with a cargo of whiskey, ran ashore west of Sker Point.The crew of twenty three and the sixty passengers aboard were all saved. The vessel quickly broke into pieces and part of her cargo was secured by a detachment of cavalry who had been rushed from Swansea.. The remainder of the cargo had been looted by locals, two of whom were found dead at the scene, having drank themselves to death.

1808- December 8th. The “Richard”, bound for the Ogmore river from Cardigan, ran onto the Tusker Rock. Four of the seven man crew were lost. The cargo was saved but the vessel was lost.

1809- January 30th, the “Phoenix”, Newport from Bideford, ran onto Nash Point. One of the seven man crew was lost. The cargo and the vessel were saved.

1809- October 1st. The “Gatcambe” outward bound from Swansea for Newnham. Three of her five man crew were lost along with the vessel.

1810- January 30th. The “Delight”, Bridgewater from Neath, ran onto the Scarweather Sands. The four crew were saved but the vessel and her cargo were lost.

1810 –February 26th , The “Friendship”, Captain Rees, with a cargo of copper ore for Swansea, struck the Mixon Sands in the early hours. The crew abandoned ship and made the shore safely.

1810- August 3rd. the West Indiaman “Mary”, from Demerara to Bristol, was lost on the Scarweather Sands but all except three of her crew of ten were saved.

1810- In October the “Union” on a voyage from London to Cadiz was blown off course and wrecked on Cefn Sidan Sands, Carmarthenshire, with the loss of all hands.

1810 - November 9th, a south westerly gale backed to the south east and caught a number of vessels sheltering at the Mumbles. The “Brittania” , Swansea for Waterford with coal, sank at its anchors. No lives were lost and the cargo was saved. The vessel was salved and put up for sale the following April.

1810- In December the snow “Teresa”, of Bristol, returning from Trinidad, was wrecked near St.Donats, Glamorgan. All but two of the crew were saved.

1811- February 11th. Bristol from Bridgewater, ran onto Nash Point. Three of her ten man crew were lost. The vessel and her cargo were saved.

1811 – April, the Swansea brig “Nancy”, Captain Roberts, foundered off Worms Head with the loss of all hands.

1812 – the “Brothers”, Captain Dalton, was abandoned in a sinking condition near Lundy, whilst bound for Swansea with a cargo of copper ore and timber. The crew took to the boat and were picked up by another vessel in Carmarthen Bay. The “Brothers” drifted ashore west of Oxwich and was smashed to pieces but most of the cargo was salvaged.

1813- On 8th February the schooner “Delfin” bound for Bristol was lost on the Black Rocks near Porthcawl.

1813- The “Rosalia”, Bristol from Portugal, ran onto the Nash Sands. Three of the crew of twelve were lost. The cargo and vessel were saved.

1813 – September 8th, the thirty foot Ilfracombe sloop “Anne & Sarah”, with coal for Llanelli, sprang a leak while crossing Rhossili Bay. The Master, James Irwin, climbed the rigging while the two crew members took to the boat, which capsized as they were nearing the shore. The boy was drowned but the other crew member grabbed an oar which kept him afloat. On reaching the shore he raised the alarm and three local men, Moses Gibbs, John Thomas and William Harry launched their boat and rescued the Master after he had spent many hours clinging to the mast.

1813- October, the “Friendship”, Chepstow from Ireland, ran onto the Scarweather Sands. The crew of six were saved but the vessel was a loss.

1814- March 1st. The “Unity”, Bristol from Cardigan, ran onto Nash Point. Four of the seven crew perished. Part of the cargo was saved but the vessel was lost.

1814- April 5th, the “Nautilus” Bristol from Aberavon, ran onto Kenfig Sands. Three of the five-man crew were saved. The cargo was saved but the vessel was a loss.

1814- An unknown sloop, bound for Bristol from Neath, ran ashore on Kenfig Sands. The crew of five were saved but the vessel and her cargo were a loss.

1815- September 27th, the “Jane”, Cardiff from Cork, ran onto Nash Point. Three of her crew and the vessel were lost.

1817 – August 3rd , the “Elizabeth” of Portsmouth sailed from Swansea when contrary winds forced her back. She struck the Mixon, was refloated, but sank again before she could be run ashore.

1817- On 28th October the” William & Mary”, a Bristol to Waterford sailing packet suddenly struck the rocks known as the Wolves off Flat Holm and sunk within minutes. 54 passengers were lost, including 22 women and children. Only one person survived. 50 bodies were recovered and buried on Flat Holm.

1817 – December 17th. A severe S.W.ly gale swept the channel. The following morning a water guard lookout reported a wreck ashore at Oxwich Point. This turned out to be the smack “La Manche”, of Morlaix, a smuggling vessel of about 20 tons. Armed water guard officers attended the scene, where they dispersed a very intoxicated crowd of locals who had already got at the cargo of brandy and gin, which was bootleg liquor destined for customers in Devon. Three bodies were washed ashore.

1818- On 30th December the “Victory” bound from Newport to Ireland with a cargo of coal was wrecked on the Monkstone.

1819 - In July the brig “George”, of Ulverston, was wrecked on Scarweather Sands with the loss of eight crew.

1819 – December 19th, the Liverpool brig “Bounty Hall” , Calcutta for Liverpool, stranded at Whitford. The vessel was later taken into Whitford Pill and then to Penclawdd for repairs. The vessel was reloaded in February of 1820 and proceeded to Liverpool.

1820 – January 21st, two small craft came to grief in Rhosilli Bay. In the morning the “John” of Padstow foundered and the crew of three, including a boy were lost. A few hours later the “George” bound for Llanelli, with copper ore was wrecked near the Worm. Two crew members leapt ashore as she struck the rocks and the Master and a seaman took to the rigging and were rescued some hours later with the aid of the rocket throwing apparatus.

1820 – August 2nd, a Lynmouth smack capsized with the loss of three of the four-crew members while dredging for oysters off Porteynon.

1820 – September, the Cardigan sloop, the “Diligence” bound for Bristol with a cargo of oats was wrecked near the Worm. The crew survived.

1821- On 21st November the Cardiff brig “Marianne,” bound for London, was driven ashore on Nash Sands. She quickly sank but the Revenue Cruiser Harpy rescued the crew.

1821- On 21st December the Bideford brig “ Hebe” on passage from Waterford to Bristol with eight crew and three passengers was partly wrecked off Porthcawl and then finally wrecked at Dunraven near St.Brides Major. According to the contemporary account by Colonel Knight of Tythegston there were no boats suitable to put to sea in the severe conditions and the gale was such that not even the local rocket apparatus could be used. When the brig was finally wrecked some local people were not averse to stripping her cargo, although the Revd. Morgan of St.Brides Major and others tried to stop the looting. The body of the captain of the brig, Captain Thomas Carder, was found next day stripped by looters. He was buried at Wick church.

1822 – February, the sloop “Sally & William” was driven ashore in Oxwich Bay during a violent gale.

1823 - May 16th, the Chichester sloop “Appledram” bound for Swansea in ballast ran aground east of Worms Head. The vessel was repaired and successfully refloated on the 6th of June.

1823 – June 27th , the Swansea pilot cutter “Angally” was run down while running alongside a vessel three miles southwest of the Mumbles. The pilot managed to jump aboard the vessel and his two assistants were picked up after spending hours in the water.

1823 – October 30th, the Whitehaven brig “Hero” was driven from her anchors in a northeasterly gale. The vessel sank near Mumbles lighthouse. The vessel was successfully raised a few days later.

1824 – November 22nd. More than one hundred vessels were sheltering in Swansea Bay during a south westerly gale, when the wind backed to the south east and increased to hurricane force Many vessels parted their anchor cables and fourteen were driven ashore with the loss of masts, yards and bowsprits. All except two were refloated.

1824 - In December the Portuguese schooner “Sandica Connica” bound for Bristol from Terceira was wrecked on Sker Point, near Porthcawl. Fortunately the crew were saved.

1825 – January, The Newport (Pembs.) sloop, the “Menai” was lost off Rhosilli with all hands.

1825 – November 8th, the Swansea pilot cutter “Friends” was swamped after returning to Swansea after landing a pilot. A southwesterly gale was blowing at the time. The assistant and two boys were lost.The following day the gale veered to the north and increased and ten vessels were driven ashore at the Mumbles.

1826 – April 10th, the brig “Union”, a new vessel of 300t was proceeding down channel when the wind swung to the west. The vessel failed to sight the Mumbles light and struck the Mixon shoal. The vessel filled at once and the crew sought refuge on other vessels anchored in the roads.

1827 – March 27th, the “Three Brothers” a Barnstable sloop, Hayle for Swansea with copper ore, ran aground near Oxwich Point. The crew managed to get ashore. The vessel was a complete loss but most of the cargo was saved.

1827 – May 4th, the Newross sloop “Agnes” bound for Swansea with a cargo of sheep, ran aground at Llanmadoc. The crew managed to get ashore with the help of some locals but all but six of the one hundred and five sheep aboard were lost.

1828 - February 14th. During a particularly violent southeasterly gale, the brigantine “George” was bound for her homeport of Bideford from Bristol when the Master decided to head for Swansea. A shore light was mistaken for the harbour entrance and the vessel struck the beach and rapidly filled. The crew took to the rigging and were there for more than two hours before being rescued from the shore.

1828 – August 9th. The sloop “Speculator” capsized and sank of the Mumbles during a gale. The crew were rescued by the 200t steam packet “Palmerston” which ran the regular Bristol to Swansea service. The same day the sloop “Seaflower” was anchored at Rhosilli sheltering from the gale when her cables parted. The crew managed to get ashore when the vessel struck the beach but the sloop was smashed to pieces.

1828 – August 12th. The “William and Mary” of Plymouth, bound for Neath with a cargo of copper ore, foundered in Oxwich Bay. The crew managed to get ashore safely.

1828 – October 10th. A brig was sighted in a sinking condition off Burry Holms. The vessel sank before any assistance could reach her. She was later identified by one of her boats that came ashore at Rhosilli as the “Juno” of St. Ives. The crew of two perished and their bodies were buried in Llangennith churchyard.

1828- On 21st November a French ship, “ La Jeune Emma” (Captain de Chatellan) was on a voyage from Martinique in the West Indies to Le Havre, when, in a dense fog, he mistook Land's End for Cape Finisterre and the Lundy Island Light for Ushant Light. As a result he headed northward thinking he was heading for the Lizard, when he grounded on Cefn Sidan Sands, Carmarthenshire. Thirteen crew and passengers were washed overboard and drowned, including Colonel Coquelin of the French Marine and his daughter who was niece to the Empress Josephine of France. Nine of those who died were buried in Pembrey Churchyard, including Coquelin and his daughter. The day after the wreck looters stole not only the ship's cargo of rum, sugar, spices, coffee, cotton and ginger, but also the personal possessions of the crew and passengers.

1829 – October 16th. The “Lively” of Sunderland, with a cargo of iron from Cardiff, sank on the Mixon shoal. The Master, mate and the boy were all swept to their deaths. Three survivors spent many hours clinging to the rigging before being picked up by the pilot cutter “Sarah”.

1829 – The brigantine “Idas”, of Whitby, with a cargo of timber from Miramichi, New Brunswick,, for Gloucester, ran ashore at Langland during thick fog

1830 – March. The paddle steamer “Frolic” left Tenby for Bristol and was never seen again. Wreckage and bodies of passengers were washed ashore on the Glamorgan coast. There was no passenger list but it is thought that close on eighty people perished.

1830 – June 23rd. the “Irish Miners” of Cardigan, Swansea to Llanelli with copper ore, struck Dangers Reef, east of Worms Head and was wrecked. The crew were saved by the local coastguard.

1830 –October 29th. The Nova Scotian brig “Henry”, Quebec for Penclawdd with timber, stranded off Whitford. The vessel was badly damaged but her cargo kept her afloat allowing her crew and passengers to get ashore. The passengers were the crew of the “Hibbert”, a London vessel, whish the “Henry had found waterlogged and on her beam ends in the Atlantic.

1830- In December the Falmouth brig “Larch” was wrecked on the Cefn-y-Wrach bar between the rivers Ely and Taff.

1831 - On the night of 16th March the “Frolic”, a schooner-rigged paddle steamer owned by the Bristol General Navigation Co., on the last part of a regular journey from Haverfordwest to Bristol, struck the Nash Sands, Glamorgan, with the loss of all 80 passengers and crew, which included General MacLeod and several other army officers as well as several Pembrokeshire merchants.It was as a result of the outcry following this disaster that Trinity House provided two lighthouses in 1832 to mark the safe channel between the sands and the mainland.

1832- Two lighthouses built at Nash Point.

1832 – The sloop “Ilfracombe Packet” grounded while entering the port of Swansea during a storm. Five pilots went out to the vessel with a spare anchor and cable and managed to kedge her off and warped the vessel into the port.

1833 – Wednesday, February 20th. Hurricane force north-westerly winds made many vessels that had left Swansea the previous day return to seek shelter in the bay. The Clovelly smack, the “Surprise” with a cargo of culm for Bude, reached the bay leaking badly and sank before she could be run ashore. Her crew abandoned ship and were picked up by another vessel. The Padstow schooner “Frances Anne”, bound for St. Ives with a cargo of coal foundered near the Green Grounds with her crew of six and four passengers. During the same storm a schooner was seen to founder on the Helwick shoal. Her masts were washed ashore at Oxwich but she was never identified. A double tragedy took place at Port Eynon when the Cambletown schooner “Favourite” and the sloop “Mary” of Laugharne were driven ashore and both were lost with all hands

1833- In October the brig “Ann and Margaret” was wrecked at Aberavon near Port Talbot. Captain John Bevan of the Copper Company schooner Gower and four of his men went to the rescue, partly using a small boat which they dragged to the area, and partly by swimming or wading out to the wreck with a line. They managed to save all six crew. Captain Bevan received the Silver Medal and his men got cash rewards.

1833 – November 28th. The Maryport brig “Amethyst”, Quebec for Liverpool, had lost her rudder in an Atlantic storm and was driven up channel and stranded on Swansea beach. The crew of the pilot boat “William IV”saved the Master and his crew of ten. The pilot, John Mitchell and his crew of three were awarded £5 by the National Institution for the Preservation of Life, to be divided between them. The vessel was refloated near the West Pier and the cargo was later discharged.

1833 – December 18th. The London brig “Siren” sailed from Swansea with a cargo of coal for the Admiralty coaling station in Malta. Off Worms Head she ran into a gale and became unmanageable and ended up being driven ashore near Burry Holms. The crew succeeded in getting ashore in the boat but the vessel was smashed to bits. The severity of the weather resulted in parts of the vessel being found in Loughor a few hours later.

1834 - On 1st November the Maltese barque” Margaret” sailed from Swansea with coal destined for Alexandria. On her sixth day out a violent change in the wind caused considerable damage to her hull, and she lost her fore and main yards and main topsail. The master decided to try to make Milford Haven but a thick mist caused him to change his mind and head for Mumbles Roads off Swansea. The barque made it to a point just off the Mumbles lighthouse where she anchored in the dark of night, with her crew continuously manning the pumps. When the tide fell, however, the barque struck the Mixon Sands. Fortunately she was able to get off into deeper water but was in such a damaged condition that the master decided to take four men in the ship's boat and head for Swansea to find help. This they did and twenty men set out in two steam tugs. The extra men were able to relieve the crew. Manning the pumps, raise the anchor and safely beach the barque on Mumbles Flats where she was unloaded and patched up.

1834 - On 17th November the Wexford schooner” Mary Ann”, from Cardiff for Wexford with coal, struck the Mixon Sands where she was lost, the crew and passengers being saved by the Coastguards.

1835 – October 22nd, the brig “New Blessing”, Cardiff for Waterford, collided with the Cardigan ketch “Heart of Oak”, which was lying to and showing no lights halfway between Lundy Island and Worms Head. The brig lost her foremast and bowsprit and drifted near to the Helwick where she then anchored. The vessel was found to be leaking badly and the crew abandoned ship before she went down.

1835- On 26th October the sloop “John”, of Chepstow, from Swansea, sank at the mouth of the River Neath. One of the crew tried to swim ashore but was drowned, whilst the other two clung to the mast. William Evans, a pilot, told the Revd. Edward Thomas of Briton Ferry that it was "a shame to see our fellow creatures perish before our eyes" and, against advice from other pilots,took his small boat, William, with a crew of four, out to the wreck and saved the two remaining crew members. He was awarded the Silver Medal and he and his crew received monetary awards from the RNLI, The Swansea Harbour Trust and the River Neath Trustees

1836 – October 12th. A storm of great ferocity blew over the channel and the brig “Corbero”, bound for Cuba with coal, lost her foremast when she was run foul of by a schooner drifting through the anchorage at the Mumbles. The same evening the schooner “Success” of Fowey had difficulty in weighing her anchor. The mate and two crew members launched the boat to assist but the boat quickly capsized drowning them. The three crew members bodies were later recovered and buried in Oystermouth churchyard.

1836 – December 7th. The “Petersburgh”, of Milford, Quebec for Llanelli with timber was anchored of Burry Bar awaiting the flood tide when the westerly freshened. The vessel parted her chains and was driven onto the Lynch sandbank. The crew abandoned and made the shore safely. The cargo remained intact and she was successfully refloated on the 23rd December.

1837 - July 28th. During a heavy gale the “Britannia” of Bideford hit rocks off Pwll Du Point. The crew managed to scramble ashore but the vessel was wrecked.

1837 – December 20th. The St. Ives schooner “Diligence”, bound from Hayle to Swansea with copper ore ran onto the Lynch sandbank. The crew were all save and the weather moderated long enough for the cargo to remain intact and for the vessel to be refloated.

1838 – January 30th. The Montrose brig “Hero”, Chile for Swansea with copper ore and Nicaragua timber, ran aground at Port Eynon in poor visibility. The crew got ashore safely but the vessel broke up with the incoming tide.

1838 – March 24th. A sloop was observed in Rhosilli Bay almost on her beam ends, her cargo having shifted in a heavy south-westerly swell. People watching from ashore saw the sails being taking in and the vessel was brought up on the anchor as she righted. The crew were then seen to leave in the ships boat but as they were nearing the shore the boat capsized a quarter of a mile from the shore, drowning all three of them. The boat was washed ashore on the flood tide and the vessel was identified as the sloop “Eliza Jane” of Dunvargen. The 63t Bideford sloop “Jeremiah” was wrecked near Worms Head the same day but the crew managed to scramble ashore safely.

1838- In September the sloop “Feronia”, of St.Ives, Cornwall, was wrecked in Swansea Bay. The crew of three were saved by pilot John Reece who was awarded the Silver Medal.

1838 – November 27th. The “Sisters”, of St. Ives was Swansea bound when a south-westerly gale drove her ashore at Rhosilli. The crew reached the shore safely but the vessel was wrecked.

1839- On 7th January the London brig, “Thomas Piele”, bound from Swansea to Dublin with coal, stranded in the shallows some way out from the shore. One of her crew who was an excellent swimmer reached the shore and said that the brig was fast breaking up. Captain Thomas Jones of the ship “Two Sisters” which was in port at Aberavon, along with Captain John Howell, Captain Charles Sutton and pilot Lewis Jenkins took the boat of the Two Sisters and rowed out through heavy seas to the wreck. Several times the onlookers on the beach thought the little boat had herself been lost and just when she reached the wreck a sudden breaker washed all four men temporarily overboard, broke most of the oars, and then washed the small craft back to the beach. Captain Jones changed his clothing, had a short rest, and then, again with the help of pilot Jenkins, plus Arthur Rees, mate of the Galatea, and Thomas Lewis, a seaman, rowed out again. For second time, however, the sea washed all four overboard, and clinging to the boat and the oars they were sent back onto the beach badly bruised. Captain Joseph Foley of the schooner Richard, of Swansea, then took charge of the boat. Joined yet again by pilot Lewis Jenkins, and three others. This time they were successful and managed to take off the master and four crew of the sinking ship, but three other crew members had been lost already, washed from their hold on the mast. The Silver Medal was awarded to Captains Jones, Howell, Sutton and Foley, and to Pilot Lewis Jenkins and Arthur Rees. Other rescuers received awards of cash.

1839 - On 6th February the French brig “Charles”, bound from New Brunswick to Gloucester, struck the Scarweather Sands off Porthcawl in dense fog. The customs boat and a pilot cutter went to help but the customs boat was driven back. However, the pilot eventually saved the whole of the crew of nine.

1839 – February. The sloop “Grace” of Chester, Bridgewater for Liverpool with a cargo of timber, became swamped by very heavy seas and forced ashore at Rhosilli. She was quickly wrecked on this most exposed beach and what was left was later sold by auction.

1839- On 22nd June the French lugger “Les Enfants Cheris” on passage from Nantes to Bristol was wrecked on Nash Sands. The crew of six were saved by Rees Lougher of Monknash, Glamorgan. He was awarded the RNLI silver medal for bravery.

1840 – January 21st. During a severe north-westerly gale, an observer saw a vessel sailing close inshore near Burry Holms when she struck the beach. The vessel was later identified as the Dartmouth schooner “Dolphin” which then drifted onto some rocks and quickly broke up. The crew of five were lost. This same gale also claimed the lives of the crew of the Liverpool schooner “Shepherd” which was wrecked off Worms Head. During the same gale the barque “Suir” of Waterford was driven ashore at Llanmadoc. The crew had cut away the mainmast which resulted in the crew and the vessel being saved.

1840 - On 4th November the schooner “ Yanden”, of Newport, struck the brig “Hopewell”, of Cork, bows on in a hurricane. The Hopewell quickly sunk. Two seamen and four passengers escaped by climbing into the Yanden. The captain's son, two seamen and two passengers were drowned, but the captain, although he did not leave his ship until the last moment, was saved after clinging to a piece of wreckage for over two hours.

1840 - On 17th November the steam packet “ City of Bristol”, Waterford for Bristol, was driven off course by a severe storm in Rhossili Bay. Only two of the 17 crew and 10 passengers survived.

1841 - In January pilot Bidder and his crew saved the three crew of the schooner “Fanny”, of Bideford, which was wrecked on Mixon Sands.

1842 – In January the Wexford smack “Dart” parted her cables during a westerly gale while anchored off Mumbles. She sank with the loss of all hands after being driven over the Greengrounds.

1842 - March 17th. The smack “Gurnet”, while trying to enter the port of Swansea during unpleasant conditions, was driven ashore near the piers. The crew of two were drowned when the vessel capsized.

1842 – May 19th. The smack “Industry”, Limpert Bay nr. Aberthaw for Aberavon, was found to be taking in water. She went down two miles south-east of the Mumbles. A passing vessel picked up the Master but the other crew member was lost.

1843 - On 10th January “The Brothers” of St.Ives, Cornwall, was returning home from Cardiff with coal when she disappeared off Hartland Point, Devon in a severe storm. There were no survivors.

1843 - On 13th January the “John Lilley” of Liverpool (barque) (Captain Townes) was on her way from Liverpool to Old Calabar, West Africa, when she was blown off course across the entrance to the Bristol Channel and onto the Welsh coast, and then back across the Channel onto the North Devon coast a few miles north-east of Bideford Bar, where she was seen by Captain Williams on the brig The Shepherdess of Appledore. Captain Williams took his boat alongside the John Lilley despite the severe conditions but was unable to transfer the crew of the latter ship partly because of the weather conditions and partly because many of the crew of the John Lilley were drunk (perhaps not surprising as the ship's cargo was rum and the crew must have thought they were not going to survive !). A couple of hours later the ship was driven onto Saunton Sands, near Braunton Lighthouse, Devon. The Master and crew were saved by the lighthouse keeper, the appropriately named Mr Lamping, the Appledore Customs Officer, Mr John Bowden and another local man. When the John Lilley went aground her cargo consisting partly of rum and tobacco went overboard and ended up on the beach. The Customs Officers, Excise Officers and Coastguards were fully employed in trying to prevent the local population from making off with the cargo . Not very successfully it would appear as the Customs Collector at Barnstaple had to admit that much of the cargo had disappeared and despite searches in the surrounding area little had been found.

1843 - January 13th. The Aberthaw smack “Ann & Elizabeth”, Bridgewater for Milford stranded of the Lynch Bank. The crew managed to get ashore and the vessel was later salvaged.

1843 – April 22nd. The oyster skiff “Sarah & Rachel” sank near the Mixon Pool and both crew members were lost.

1843 – 7th September - “Caledonia” - 200 ton brig from Arbroath, Scotland (Captain Peter) - On journey from Constantinople to Bristol - driven onto the rocks at Vicarage Cliffs, Morwenstow, Devon. The crew were washed overboard and only one, Edward La Daine from the Channel Islands, survived. He was taken to the Rectory where the Rev R.S.Hawker made sure that he was cared for and nursed back to health. The bodies of the drowned seamen were eventually washed up on the beach and buried in Morwenstow Churchyard. The figurehead of the brig is preserved in the churchyard and, remarkably, a message in a bottle from one of the seamen, thrown overboard before the final wreck of the brig, was washed up at Portledge where it, too, is preserved in the Portledge Hotel just outside Bideford. The Rev Hawker erected a little hut on the cliffs immediately above the place where the wreck occurred and this is maintained by the National Trust.

1843 – October 6th. The brig “Liverpool Packet”, Newport for Penzance with coal, lost her rudder. The crew abandoned ship near Flatholm and the vessel was eventually wrecked in Rhosilli Bay

1844 – March 17th. During a south-easterly gale a number of oyster skiffs were sunk when the “Superior” of St. Ives parted her cable and drove through the anchorage at Mumbles. The “Charles” of Llanelli and the “Rebecca” of Bridgewater ended up rolling their bilges out on the stony shore but the barque “Underley” bound for Cuba, slipped his cable and proceeded to sea with his pilot.

1844 – August 2nd. A summer gale struck the Gower peninsular, starting from the southwest but ending up right around the compass. The schooner “Margaret”, on passage from Rotterdam to Bristol with a Rhossili Master aboard, was driven ashore in Broughton Bay and ended up being smashed to pieces. The crew were saved. During the same gale the Bridgewater schooner “Mary” was lost near the previous location with a woman passenger drowning. The Llanelli schooner “Thetis” sank at anchor in Oxwich Bay. The crew took to the rigging but were later rescued by a boat from “Affo”, of Bideford, which was also at anchor having lost her canvas. The crew of four were taken back to the “Affo”. The Plymouth smack “Triton”, Par for Swansea with copper ore, was driven ashore at Port Eynon Point. Five crewmembers were washed overboard and perished. The Master, Captain Wilcock, climbed along the bowsprit, whish was resting on a rock but was washed off and swept into the turbulent seas. Fortunately, the next wave washed him up onto a sandy beach and he lived to tell the tale. The Chepstow sloop “Julia”, Bridgewater for Dublin, went ashore at Worms Head with the loss of one crew member. Another vessel, the “Anne” sank while anchored off the Mumbles and numerous other vessels were damaged. In the three weeks following this gale nine bodies were recovered and buried at Rhossili.

1844 – October 10th. During another gale the barque “Jane Boyd” of Aberdeen, parted her cables off the Mumbles and collided with the “Frances”, Valparaiso for Swansea with copper ore. The “Frances” was holed and sank off West Cross. The twenty crewmembers were landed at Singleton by the vessels longboat. The vessel was raised on Christmas Eve and successfully berthed in the harbour.

1845 – April 16th. The Bridgewater sloop “Spreacombe” dragged its anchor in thick fog and ended up being driven onto rocks at Whiteshell Point, east of Caswell. The Master and four hands spent five hours clinging to the rigging and were rescued by three local brothers just before the mast came down.

1845 – the “Olive Branch” ran onto Sker Point. Three of her nine man crew perished. The vessel was lost.

1846 - On 15th October the barque “Bradshaw” of Liverpool on passage from America to Liverpool was blown off course and into the Bristol Channel where she became a total wreck near Porthcawl.

1847 - On 14th February the French brig” Emilie” was wrecked on Nash Point and the crew of eight lost.

1847 – February 21st. Wreckage appeared along the coast from Worms Head to the Mumbles, including large quantities of wool. Some ships papers were later washed ashore and the vessel was identified as the barque “Brechin Castle”, Port Adelaide for Swansea with copper ore and wool. In the following days the body of a seaman was washed ashore followed by the body of a child.On the 22nd. Almost half the hull of the barque was found floating near the Mixon Shoal and after an unsuccessful attempt by local pilots to tow the vessel, she broke free and was washed up at Limeslade. The remaining portion of the hull was found at Oxwich. The vessel had carried a crew of fifteen and two families. All were lost. It was thought that the recent positioning of the Helwick Light, which became operational on October 1st 1846, was a contributory factor in the loss of the “Brechin Castle”, as the Master would have been unaware of its existence and mistook it for the Mumbles light.

1847 - In November the barque “ Henry” of Liverpool bound for Cardiff hit the Tusker Reef near Porthcawl and was breaking up when the Barnstaple smack “William and Jane” sighted her and was able to save 18 of her crew. Only one, an apprentice, was lost.

1847 - In November the “ Leith Packet” from Newport for Stirling in Scotland was lost on the Tusker Reef but all hands were saved by a passing vessel.

1847 - On December 6th the brig “Circassian”, of Sunderland, Cuba for Swansea with copper ore, parted her anchor cables in a fierce westerly gale. She drifted into the bay and was washed ashore near the East Pier. A rescue attempt was impossible in the prevailing conditions and nothing could be done until five o’clock the next morning, when a tug managed to get alongside and rescue some of the crew. Later that day two men returned to vessel in a small boat and took of the Master, Mate and two seamen. The boat failed to return to the tug and it was thought they were lost. At dawn the next day the boat was observed drifting out of the bay and were subsequently saved by John George, a local pilot.

1848 – March 6th. With a large swell running over the Mixon Shoal, the brigantine “Earl Gowrie”, bound for her home port of Waterford with a cargo of coal, was lost with all hands.

1848 – October 26th. The Aberystwyth smack “Eagle”, Porthcawl for her home port, was lost on the Cherrystone. Her crew managed to row ashore.

1848 - On 27th November the Sunderland barque “Arietta” was wrecked on the Mixon Sands. The 2nd mate was washed overboard and drowned but the other 14 crew got away in the ship's boat and were picked up by the paddle tug “Dragon Fly”.

1849 – January 16th. The Swansea barque “Pascoe Grenfell” and the schooner “Victoria” of Looe were both outward bound from Swansea when they collided off Port Eynon. The “Victoria” sank and her crew were picked up by a passing vessel and landed at Swansea. The “Pascoe Grenfell” lost her jib boom but was able to continue on passage.

1849 – December 14th. The brig “Mary Jones” of Pictou, Nova Scotia, bound from Pugwash to Liverpool with a cargo of timber, lost its bearings during heavy rain. At seven p.m. the crew realised they were close in shore and attempted to wear ship. This failed and the vessel was wrecked between Port Eynon and Paviland. The crew took to the rigging and remained there until the mast came crashing down. Most of the crew were able to swim ashore and seek shelter on the rocks. One seaman was lost.

1850 – February 5th. The “Mary” of Bideford, carrying a cargo of iron, parted he anchor cables in a severe storm and sank on the Greengrounds. This was the third time the vessels Master had been involved in a shipwreck in nine years.

1850 – June 21st. The Port Talbot pilot boat “Mary” was wrecked on the west side of Mumbles Head, directly below the lighthouse. The pilot John Mathews and his crew clung to the rocks until low water.

1850 – August 7th. At seven o’clock in the evening the Mumbles coastguard saw a small vessel founder on the Mixon Shoal. The vessel was identified the following day as the Port Eynon owned “Hope”, with a cargo of oats from Waterford. The crew of three were lost.

1850 – December. In the first week of this month the hull and rigging of a schooner were washed up at Port Eynon. The wreckage was later identified as belonging to the “Courageux” of Nantes, which is thought to have been inward bound in ballast. The vessel and its crew are thought to have been victims of a violent storm , which hit the Bristol Channel on November 24th.

1851 – July, the Plymouth registered brigantine schooner “Joseph Anderson”, Newport for Bristol with coal, went down on the Culver Sands, about six or seven miles south of Steep Holm. The Captain, Mate and three of the crew perished and two others were saved.

1851 - On 9th November the French barque “ Pollux” , 4000 tons (Captain Lindstrom), left Dublin for Alexandria but in the Irish Sea found herself in a very severe storm, the ballast shifted, and she heeled over to such an extent that the masts were close to horizontal, preventing her from getting upright. The master decided to cut away the main and mizzen masts in an effort to right her and this it did, but the vessel was now drifting out of control in the storm and was driven into the entrance to the Bristol Channel. She was sighted by two pilot cutters off the North Devon coast. The cutters pulled alongside and offered to tow the ship into Ilfracombe, at which the crew of the “Pollux” decided to abandon ship . The cutters managed to get her into Clovelly Roads and next morning the crew, excluding the captain, returned to the ship. The captain excused himself saying that he had pressing business elsewhere ! The pilots, with help from local fishermen, tried to get the ship to Bideford but the ship's crew were not prepared to co-operate and the job was left entirely to the "rescuers". She grounded twice during these efforts and the Lloyds Agent now ordered a tug. However, for some unknown reason the Finnish crew cut the tow rope leaving the ship again drifting, finally grounding again on the beach at Clovelly. The Customs Officer declared that she could not be considered a wreck, and all the cargo was removed and placed in his custody. On the next tide the ship was refloated and towed off shore, anchored and left over night. The next morning, now without her ballast and cargo she was so light that the storm caused her anchor cables to break and she finally smashed to pieces on the shore.

1851 – December 25th. The skiff “Springflower” was overwhelmed in a sudden westerly gale after hauling oysters on the eastern end of the Helwick Bank.

1852 – December 6th. The “Pretty Maggy” of Cork, Ballinacura for Cardiff in ballast, was wrecked on the Mixon Shoal. The crew of five and a passenger were lost. The wrckage was later washed up in Bracelet Bay.

1853 - The Milford smack “Ellen”, bound for Bristol with a cargo of butter and oats, was found to be making water as she crossed Port Eynon Bay. The vessel went down off Oxwich Point with the loss of the Master and the third hand.

1853 – July 6th. The Brazilian brig “Nettuno”, having left Swansea bound for the Cape Verde Islands with a cargo of coal struck the Greengrounds. The vessel started making water and foundered south-east of Mumbles lighthouse.

1853 – July 20th. The pilot vessel “Sarah Jane” was wrecked near Pwll Du. Her crew scrambled ashore safely

1854 – June. The Bayonne brig “Irma” was driven ashore near Worms Head and wrecked.

1855 –March 10th. The barque “Henrietta!, bound for Swansea from Cuba with a cargo of copper ore, became stranded on the Mixon. The crew successfully abandoned ship and the following day the vessel was refloated and towed into port. Safely.

1855 – October 25th. The brig “Anna Catherine” of Sunderland, which was bound from Swansea to London with a cargo of coal, was sheltering at the Mumbles in a west-south-westerly gale. The gale increased to hurricane force and at 10 o’clock in the evening the vessel parted her cables and drifted onto the Greengrounds where she unshipped the rudder and severely damaged her stern timbers. When the tide started flooding she drove over the banks and foundered early the following morning. The Master and his crew took to the rigging and were rescued at daybreak by the crew of the tug “Beaufort”. The tug Master Griffith Rosser was awarded a sovereign and the R.N.L.I’s thanks on vellum. The tug crew were awarded ten shillings each.

1856 – February 8th. A well known Swansea copper barque, the “Catherine Jenkins”, Santiago, Cuba, for Swansea with a cargo of copper ore was wrecked at Lucas Cove, just west of Owxich Point. The vessel began to break up on contact with the rocks. Eleven crew members boarded the gig and started heading for the shore. After making just a few ships lengths towards the shore the gig capsized, throwing everyone into the water. Seven of these crew members were lost. Five of the original crew had died in Santiago with Yellow Fever.

1856 – September 27th. A number of vessels were sheltering in Swansea Bay from a south-westerly gale. The gale backed to the south-east and increased to hurricane force. The vessels at anchor now found themselves on a lee shore. Eight vessels sank at their anchors, nine parted their anchor cables and were driven ashore and another five vessels were damaged. The coastguard galley saved the crews of the schooners “Monkey”, of Drogheda and the “Western Star” of New Ross. A shore boat manned by the Jenkins brothers and Tom Michael saved the crew of the “Emmet”, of Aberaeron, the Exeter brigantine “Pioneer” and the “Happy Return” of Padstow. Two of the vessels that were driven ashore were the Gloucester schooner “Swiftsure” and the Swansea barque “Pascoe Grenfell”.

1857 – March 15th. The lugger “Juanita”, Swansea for Seville, sank at her anchors while sheltering from a gale. The hull and masts of the vessel were salvaged and later sold in Swansea.

1857 - On the night of 29th March the schooner “Trevaunance”, of St.Ives, Cornwall, struck a sandbank off Porthcawl, and sank in a severe gale. The crew of four climbed the rigging to save themselves from going down with the ship. They lashed themselves to the topmast and waited for daylight as they had had no time to signal their distress and they could not be seen from the shore in the darkness. In the morning they were seen from the shore and a boat was sent to try to rescue them. The volunteer crew of this boat consisted of three pilots, James and Thomas Pearse and John Jones, and a seaman, George Clark. Unfortunately they could not get near enough to the mast to which the survivors were clinging. The small boat waited for several hours in danger itself, to get close to the sunken vessel, but as the tide rose the vessel submerged further and the survivors came closer and closer to drowning. Seeing that this was the last chance the crew of the rescue boat decided to try once more and with strenuous effort they managed to get close enough to grab the ratlines and three of the sailors got into the boat in a terrible condition. The fourth was already dead and his body could not be recovered. In all the survivors had been lashed to the mast for 16 hours.The four volunteer rescuers were each awarded the RNLI Silver Medal and a gratuity.

1858 – January 2nd. The Llanelli smack “Louis”, bound from her home port for Rouen with a cargo of coal, lost her mainsail during a squall. The crew of three men and two boys abandoned ship and were picked up by the Tenby fishing vessel “Ann”. The “Louis” was eventually wrecked on Port Eynon Point.

1858 – June 11th. The “Busy” of Beaumaris, Barrow for Neath with iron ore, struck the Mixon and sank before she could be driven ashore, 1858 – October 2nd. The “Hazard” of Westport, County Mayo, became overwhelmed during a gale and went down of Oxwich. The crew of four were picked up . During the same gale the “Emily” of Bridgewater, was driven ashore and wrecked at Port Eynon.

1858 - On 13th October the schooner “Ajax”, of Plymouth, was wrecked off Kenfig Sands near Porthcawl. Seven coastguards pulled a gig along the foreshore and put out to the rescue in heavy seas. They saved all six crew members. James Collopy and Daniel Shea (Chief Officer of the Coastguards) were awarded the RNLI Silver Medal and the other rescuers received cash rewards for their bravery. Daniel Shea won the Silver Medal four times in all but was eventually drowned when the Padstow Lifeboat capsized in 1867.

1858 – October 19th. A rare north-easterly gale blew over the channel and drove a schooner onto the Middle Head at Mumbles. The pilot boat “Neptune” lost her anchor cables and was driven ashore and was severely damaged. At high water the pilot vessel “Sarah” was driven ashore and scuttled by the crew to lessen the damage. Five local oyster skiffs also parted their moorings and were wrecked.

1859 - In May the schooner “Amelia” of Dartmouth foundered in a gale in the Channel. The crew of four were saved by the Coastguards.

1859 –September 28th. The ninety-five ton ketch “Friends” foundered on the Helwick Shoal . The crew of six perished.

1859 – October 25th. A violent storm prevailed over western Britain. Four vessels were driven ashore at the Mumbles. The Llanelli smack “Eliza” was the only vessels wrecked. The sloop “Union”, bound for Llanelli from Bridgewater with railway sleepers, was driven ashore at Worms Head. The crew managed to get ashore.

1859 – October 31st. The schooner “Robert Henry”, of Hayle, bound for Swansea, foundered four miles off Pennard. The crew managed to row ashore.

1859 - On 2nd November the Jersey barque “ Sunda” went aground on Kenfig Sands, near Porthcawl, The master, his wife and four crew got into the ship's boat but were in danger of capsizing. C R Mansel Talbot, MP, of Margam Abbey (son of the founder of the town of Port Talbot) and John Williams, a local farmer, waded out into the sea to help them to land. A pilot vessel and a tug took the remainder of the crew off from the sea. The Silver Medal was awarded to Mansel Talbot and John Williams.

1859 – The brigantine “William & Mary”, of Youghal, bound for her home from Swansea, was caught in a violent squall and was driven onto the Mumbles. The vessel was wrecked, losing the cargo of coal, but the crew survived.

1860 - In October the schooner “Kingston”, of Cork was wrecked off Penarth Head. Her crew of six escaped with the help of two local men who went into the sea to rescue them.

1860 - On 14th October the French schooner “Jeune Honore” was in collision with an Austrian ship off Lavernock Point near Penarth. The schooner's foremast fell into the sea with three men clinging to it. Three hands from a Bristol Pilot cutter managed to save the three men by use of their punt.

1861 - On 3rd January the “Mary Jane” , of St.Ives, Cornwall, went aground on the Scarweather Sands. The crew abandoned her and got to safety and the boat was taken into Porthcawl Harbour by the new Porthcawl lifeboat (Good Deliverance) and repaired, only to be wrecked again, finally this time, at Portreath, Cornwall.

1861 - On 19th February the large American full-rigged ship “William D Sewell” bound from Bristol to Swansea in tow of a tug, became detached from her tug. She dropped anchors but these did not hold her and she dragged toward the West Nash Sands off Porthcawl. The Porthcawl lifeboat was called out but the packet steamer “Mars”, of Waterford, Ireland, reached her first and towed her to Bristol for repair.

1861 – The brigantine “Villiers”, Cardiff for Alicante with coal, struck the Mixon Shoal after putting about down at Worms Head due to freshening south-westerly winds. Two crew members were plucked from the water and a further four were found next day clinging to the rigging. Two crew members perished.

1862 – March 5th. A schooner was observed foundering of the Mixon. The coastguard was alerted and launched their galley. It was joined by the pilot boats “Vivian”, of Swansea and the “Kate” of Port Talbot. When both these vessels reached the scene the mastheads were visible but no survivors were found. The vessel was later identified as “Victoria & Albert” of Dungarven, which had been bound for Swansea with copper ore.

1862 - On 20th December the brigantine “Champion”, of Liverpool, returning home from New Brunswick, Canada, with a cargo of timber, was driven off course and into the Bristol Channel by a strong gale. She went aground on the Scarweather Sands, breaking her mainmast. Her distress signal flags were seen from the mainland and the Porthcawl lifeboat went to her assistance, saving her nine crew and one passenger.

1863 - In January the Russian barque “ Heinrich Sorensen”, bound from Bordeaux to Cardiff in ballast, was caught in a great storm and driven ashore on Breaksea Point, near Barry. The ship's boat had been lost and the crew of twelve decided to try to swim or wade ashore. William John of Limpert Farm and three other local men went into the dangerous seas and managed to assist all of the crew to safety. This was not the first time that William John had helped to save life and he was awarded the RNLI silver medal for his bravery.

1863 – January 19th ,an unknown two masted vessel ran onto Tusker Rock. She disappeared and several hours later wreckage was seen floating past Porthcawl Harbour. Her name was never discovered.

1863 – February 19th. The barque “Laconic”, Swansea for Tenerife with a cargo of coal, whilst in a dead calm with thick fog, drifted onto the western end of the Helwick Shoal and the crew abandoned as the vessel broke up. Her crew managed to reach Rhossili in their boats.

1863 – October 8th. The Sunderland brig “J.O” was being towed out of the Burry Estuary laden with a cargo of culm. The tug and tow met a heavy ground swell off Whitford Point and the tow parted. The brig was driven ashore and the crew managed to get safely ashore.

1863 - On 3rd December the Penarth lifeboat, George Gay, made her first successful attempt at rescue when the full rigged “Jupiter”, of London, and the barque “ Ellings”, collided in Penarth Roads in a heavy N.W.gale. The “Jupiter's” crew of 8 jumped into the lifeboat as she pulled alongside the ship but were persuaded to return to the ship to try to save her, which, after two hours was accomplished sufficiently for her to find safety.

1864 - February 10th. The Port Talbot brigantine “Peri” ran headlong on to the rocks at Skysea and became a total wreck. The crew clambered onto the rocks and they were spotted at daybreak and rescued by boat.

1864 –September 19th, the brig “Industrious”, Llanelli for Malta with coal, ran onto the sand at Knackershole, Porteynon. The elderly vessel quickly broke up without any loss of life.

1864 – November 18th. During a severe south-westerly gale the smack “Desiree”, of St. Vaast, was bound for Le Havre from Swansea with a cargo of coal ran back before the weather and anchored in Oxwich Bay. Four hours after anchoring her cables parted and she was driven ashore. Some local men saw the vessel and rushed to beach and rescued the crew of five.On the same day the Conway schooner “Hectorine”, on passage from Cork to Llanelli, was riding to her anchor inside the Worm when the cable parted. The schooner was driven up towards Llangennith and the crew managed to get ashore when the vessel broke up. Some days later some wreckage, including the stern board of “The Lady of the Lake”, of Bristol. The vessels boat was found ashore and more wreckage was washed up at Oxwich.

1864 - On the same night of 18th November the Penarth lifeboat, George Gay, was towed by the paddle tug Marquis to the English and Welsh Grounds, near the mouth of the river Usk where the full rigged ship “ Far West”, of Newport, with 22 crew, on her voyage from Chile via Queenstown, Ireland, to Newport, had run aground after losing her anchors when her hawsers and windlass broke in a S.W.gale off Lundy and she drifted up Channel. Some of the lifeboatmen were put aboard and she was connected to three tugs, the Marquis, Iron Duke and Pilot. Her anchors were recovered and she was re-floated and towed to Bristol for repair.

1865 – January 26th. A derelict schooner was found washed ashore at Overton. The vessel was the schooner “Francis & Ann” of Jersey, bound for Bristol from Palermo with a cargo of oranges. The cargo was strewn along the shore and most it was saved. There was no sign of the crew. It later transpired that the vessel struck the Helwick Shoal during a snowstorm. The crew took to the boats and sought refuge on the Helwick lightship. The crew were later transferred to a passing steamer and landed at Milford.

1865 – January 27th. The wreck of the Cardiff pilot cutter No. 20, “Robin Hood”, was washed ashore at Langland. She had been run down under the bows of a barque off Ilfracombe. The crew were saved.

1865 - August 23rd. A pleasure craft carrying a party of Neath businessmen capsized in the race off Mumbles Head. The Swansea pilot cutter “Grenfell” saved five but three people were lost.

1865 - In November the Portuguese barque “Argo” was abandoned by her crew near the Tusker Rocks off Porthcawl. The crew survived and the barque was saved by the Porthcawl lifeboat crew.

1866 - On 2nd January the barque “Jacques”, of St.Malo, and the ship “Industrie”, of Hamburg, came into contact in a heavy gale, and the Penarth lifeboat, now renamed from George Gale to Baroness Windsor, had to disentangle them.

1866 - On 10th January the “Hannah Moore” of 1129 tons on a voyage from Chile to Queenstown, Ireland was blown off course and took shelter in Lundy Roads. However her sails were torn by the wind and she dragged her anchor. The next morning the crew were seen clinging to the rigging. Two Bideford men, Thomas Saunders and Samuel Jarmon took a punt out in an attempt to get a line to the ship, but in twenty minutes the ship had been lifted onto Rat Island off Lundy and broken up. Only six crew managed to keep from being washed overboard from a part of the wreck. These were eventually rescued by the punt. The other 19 crew were drowned.

1866 – March 20th. The “Eliza Jane” which had sailed from Cardiff earlier that day, was abandoned in a sinking condition off Worms Head. The six crew members were picked up by the Newquay schooner “Equity” and landed at Swansea.

1866 - On 23rd March the brig “Claudia”, of Belfast, went onto Cardiff Sands in a strong gale and sprang a leak, which caused her hold to rapidly fill with water, despite the strenuous pumping of her crew. Lifeboatmen from the Penarth lifeboat, Baroness Windsor, went aboard to help and she was eventually freed her and took her to a safe place on Cardiff East Mudflats.

1866 - On the same day, 23rd March, the Whitby brig “ Vesta” foundered in Swansea Bay. The crew of seven took to the rigging and were saved by the Mumbles lifeboat (Martha and Anne).

1866 – March 23rd. the “Electric Flash” of Hayle, carrying a hundred tons of coal from Porthcawl was driven ashore at Porteynon and became a total loss. The crew were saved by a boat from the shore.

1866 - On 2th March the wooden paddle steamer “Queen” (Captain Granville Spray) left Ilfracombe at 10.30 pm. In a thick fog the little paddler struck the Tings Rocks off Hartland Point, Devon. However, the master managed to get her off the rocks and made back towards Ilfracombe. She was badly holed, though, and was shipping water rapidly, and, as a result, the master ran her intentionally onto the beach at Clovelly. The 37 passengers on board and the crew were ferried ashore and over the next two days the cargo was removed. Very soon after the cargo had been removed the boat broke her back and was finally wrecked. The captain, who was the son of the previous captain, John Spray, was subsequently found guilty of neglecting to measure the depth of water near the coast.

1866 – May 24th, an unknown French lugger was wrecked on the Scarweather Sands. The Porthcawl lifeboat was unable to get near and all hands were lost. The vessels name was never discovered.

1866 – September 10th. Two day after leaving Swansea bound for Barcelona with a cargo of coal, the brig “Chasseur” of Nantes, which had put back to the Mumbles during bad weather, parted her cables and was wrecked on the Greengrounds. The incident was not seen by anyone and the crew spent four hours in the rigging before being rescued by the crew of the tug “Tweed”

1867 – January 7th.. Severe westerly gales prevailed and the Pembrey lifeboat “City of Bath” rescued eight crew members off the brigantine “Seraphim” of Dunkirk. The vessel had been wrecked near Kidwelly. The next morning the weather showed no sings of easing and a lugger was observed going over the middle spit of the Lynch Sands of Whitford.. The “City of Bath” was again launched and after negotiating the maze of channels off the Burry Bar the crew of the “Espoir” of Nantes, from Swansea with coal, were observed in the rigging. The lifeboat managed to get alongside and rescued all the crew. The vessel broke up and was washed ashore at Llanmadoc. Just after landing the crew of the “Espoir” the lifeboat crew were informed that a brig was seen riding to her anchors off Burry Holms in a distressed condition. When the lifeboat managed to get alongside the vessel, the “Zenith”, of Sunderland, she was almost submerged and had been abandoned. Later that day the vessels boat and the bodies of her crew were washed up at Broughton

1867 - On 9th January the French schooner “Jeanne d'Arc” parted her cables and split her sails in Mumbles Roads in a severe storm and was drifting hopelessly. The Mumbles lifeboat (Wolverhampton) was called out and put men on board her to help set new sails, whilst their colleagues brought out a steam tug which towed her to Swansea.

1867 – February. The Prussian brig “Fortuna”, with a cargo of cotton and sugar from Venezuela for Liverpool, became dismasted during a storm. She was driven up the channel and run ashore in Broughton Bay. The crew were saved as was much of the cargo. The vessel was a total loss.

1867 – March 10th. The Whitstable brig “Anemone”, Newhaven to Cardiff in ballast, was wrecked at Porteynon. The crew were saved.

1867 - On 14th April the brig “Wellington”, of Aberystwyth, was driven ashore in a severe gale. Mumbles lifeboat (Wolverhampton) stood by, but she the brig refloated on the rising tide and a tug took her to Swansea

1867 - On 17th November the brig “Marie”, of Grieffswald, Prussia, was driven up Channel having lost her anchor and cables. Being unladen she was driven into very shallow water. Attempts by three tugs and two pilot skiffs to get to her failed because they could not get close due to the shallowness of the water. After some 10 hours rowing the Penarth lifeboat managed to get under her lee and rescue all 11 crew. The lifeboatmen were, by this time, as exhausted as the crew and suffering severely from exposure.

1868 - January 13th. A vessel was observed stranded on the north ridge off Whitford Point. The vessel was the Cardiff brig “Albion” with a cargo of copper ore and esparto grass from Almeria. When the vessel was boarded, the galley fire was still alight and the ships cat was running around. There were no signs of the crew. Later that day the bodies of two crew members were washed up on Whitford beach and the following day a local farmer found five more bodies on Llanrhidian marsh. It appears that the crew all drowned while trying to get ashore.

1868 – January 23rd. Many vessels had been weather bound in Llanelli for a few days and on this day nineteen colliers left the port. Some sailed on their own and five were strung together and towed down the estuary by the tug “Royal Princess”. A terrific swell was running over the bar at this time and as the vessels crossed the bar the wind eased away. The vessels with sea room managed to get away but the others were at the mercy of the elements. Eleven vessels were wrecked at Rhossili, Broughton and Llangennith and a total of eighteen seamen lost their lives. There appears to be some confusion as to the number of vessels actually lost as some reports give sixteen vessels lost. The vessels “Onward”, “Amethyst”, and “Jennie Celine” foundered with all hands, while the “Brothers”, “Roscius” and “Huntress” were three of the vessels that were stranded on the sands. The “Anne” was wrecked on Burry Holmes whilst the “Mary Fanny”, with a crew of four safely rounded Burry Holmes only to be wrecked in Rhosilli Bay. This vessel was later salvaged and rebuilt and continued trading until sunk by a U-Boat in 1918.

1868 - On the morning of 28th December there was a strong gale blowing onshore at Appledore, Devon, An Austrian ship “Pace” , bound from Glasgow to Fiume with pig iron, was seen to be in difficulties in Bideford Bay, and the cox of the Appledore Lifeboat, Joseph Cox, with his son Joseph as second cox, called out the rest of the lifeboat crew and, with the lifeboat Hope on a horse drawn carriage, the crew followed the movement of the ship across the bay until she grounded on the sands. The lifeboat was then launched and with great difficulty due to the huge waves, made her way to the grounded vessel, threw a grapnel into the rigging and shouted to the crew. However there was no reply. A little later a boy appeared on deck and jumped into the lifeboat, and then eight men dashed to the side of the ship and dived into the sea, where they were picked up by the lifeboat, although in the process the Hope was dashed against the stern of the Pace, trapping the cox. Fortunately his cork lifejacket saved him from death, but the Hope lost her rudder. The lifeboatmen continued to shout to the remainder of the ship's crew to abandon ship, but they did not know that the crew had been instructed by the captain not to abandon the ship nor even to throw a line to the lifeboat, as he believed that she could be refloated on the next tide. With the lifeboat rudderless the cox had to give up and try to get back to the shore, which he did with severe difficulty. On reaching the shore the cox called for more volunteers to go back out with him to try to save the remaining crew. Despite attempts to persuade him otherwise he found sufficient men prepared to join him and he and his son and John Kelly from the original crew with the new volunteers went out in the lifeboat, still without its rudder, Joseph Cox junior steering with an oar. As they got close to the Pace, Joseph Cox junior was thrown into the sea and the boat thus lost it’s steering and capsized, all the crew being thrown overboard. However, the boat righted itself and the crew managed to get back aboard but had lost all but three oars. Joseph Cox senior was now injured and only semi-conscious, and the lifeboat again returned to the shore. The Braunton lifeboatmen had been unable to get their boat across the bay but walked to Appledore and would have taken the Hope out again but it was decided that it would be too risky and with the tide falling the Pace was unlikely to face further danger. Later, when the tide had receded a number of Appledore men waded out to the Pace and rescued the three remaining crewmen, two having fallen from the rigging and been killed.The captain was the last to be rescued. Meanwhile another ship, the Leopard, returning to Gloucester from the West Indies, was also driven aground in Bideford Bay, near Westward Ho ! Here David Johns, one of the crew of the Hope on its first attempt to rescue the crew of the Pace, volunteered to swim out to the grounded boat with a line, since it had proved impossible to get a line to the ship by rocket from Westward Ho ! This he did and tried three times to board the Leopard, but was finally struck on the head by some wreckage and sadly drowned. Another Appledore man subsequently managed to get a line to the ship and all the crew were rescued. The RNLI awarded Joseph Cox senior two clasps to his medal which he had originally been awarded in 1801. Both Joseph Cox junior and John Kelly were awarded silver medals, and another 25 men also received lesser awards. Later the Emperor of Austria awarded silver crosses of merit to both Joseph senior and junior and to John Kelly.

1869 - On 5th December the Spanish schooner “ Loretta”, bound from Liverpool to Cuba, was seen drifting towards Nash Sands near Porthcawl, having been blown off course. The Porthcawl lifeboat (Good Deliverance) went to her aid, initially taking off the master's wife and then the whole crew of eleven and the pilot.

1869 – December 13th. The schooner “Corliana”, Clonakilty to Newport in ballast, was driven ashore in a south westerly gale near Llanmadoc. The vessel was wrecked but the crew were all saved.

1869 – December 31st. A heavy gale said goodbye to the year and the brig “Nuavo Plauto” of Trieste, bound for Neath with a cargo of grain from the Black Sea, parted her cables while anchored off the Mumbles and went down on the Greengrounds. The crew got ashore safely in their boats.On the same day , the barque “Artistic” of Newport, bound from her home port for Brazil with a cargo of coal, struck Helwick . The Master and two crew members remained on board while the rest were taken off, The vessel was refloated on the next flood tide.

1870 – January 2nd. A small boat was found adrift in Swansea Bay. The boat contained the body of William John Brown, a seaman of the “Eliza” of Plymouth. The vessel was a regular Swansea trader. Ten days later the sternboard of the vessel was washed ashore west of Langland. Nothing was ever seen of the vessel or her crew.

1870 – June 23rd. The steamer “Sheldrake”, Swansea to Bordeaux, collided with the Barrow schooner “Mary”, Barrow to Cardiff with pig iron, four miles southwest of Oxwich Point. The schooner rapidly sank drowning the Captains wife. A crew member of the “Sheldrake” was killed by a falling spar. The schooners crew were picked up by the “Sheldrake” and landed at Swansea when the vessel put back for repairs.

1870 – October 12th. A westerly storm blew over the south west of Britain causing many maritime casualties. The schooner “Joseph et Marie”, Sardinia for Swansea with zinc ore, foundered in the entrance channel to Swansea. The crew were saved. The Faversham schooner “Brigand” sank after a collision in the crowded anchorage at the Mumbles and the crew were rescued by the crew of the tug “Pero Gomez”.

1870 - In December the Cardiff Pilot cutter “Dasher” started to break up after hitting the Tusker Rock near Porthcawl in a thick fog. Because of the weather the wreck was not sighted and the pilot and his two assistants used the wreckage to build a raft on which they tried to head for the shore. Fortunately they were picked up by the Porthcawl Lifeboat (Good Deliverance).

1871 – March 9th. The square rigger “Daring” left Swansea on the morning tide with a skeleton crew and minimum ballast aboard, bound for Cardiff. She was being towed by the steam tug “Cambria”. While heading out to pass to the west of the Scarweather Sands the wind increased to gale force from the west. It was decided to put back for Swansea but the manoeuvre failed and the tug was slipped in attempt for the vessel to wear ship. It became obvious that the vessel was heading for the shore and the tugmaster went alongside in an attempt to rescue the crew. As they neared the vessel the crew were observed abandoning ship on the other side in an attempt to row ashore at Hunts Bay. All six crew members perished and the vessel was wrecked at Pwll Du.

1871 – April 21st. The Neath pilot vessel “Black Swan” was returning to the Mumbles after boarding some vessels. She sailed through some wreckage containing two bodies. It was later discovered they were crew members of the Truro schooner “Cornish Diamond” which had struck the Mixon Shoal some hours earlier.

1872 – January 11th. The three hundred ton steamer “Hazard” of Leith, Rouen to Swansea in ballast, struck the rocks at Porteynon Point. One of the sixteen crew members was injured when the vessel struck and sank rapidly. The Master’s certificate was suspended for three months.

1872 - October 30th. The Littlehampton brig “Alfred” was surrounded by broken water on the Lynch Sands when the crew assisted by the crew of the Pembrey lifeboat “Stanton Meyrick of Pimlico” and the vessel was taken into Burry Port.

1872 - On 1st November the “Magna Charta”, of Halifax, Nova Scotia, and the Norwegian barque “Jernbyrd” collided in a heavy gale in Penarth Roads. The Canadian ship freed herself but the Penarth lifeboat, a new George Gay, was sent to help the Norwegian barque which was holed just below the waterline and in danger of sinking. The master of the barque requested the cox of the lifeboat to stand by whilst he and his crew tried to patch up the hole. Fortunately she was sufficiently repaired by the crew that at dawn of the next day she could be towed by tug to Cardiff for repair.

1872 – November 23rd. The Norwegian barque “Pera” St. Johns, New Brunswick with timber, was driven up channel in horrendous weather. She was driven ashore at Port Tennant. The Master and his wife along with the fifteen crew members got ashore safely. The vessel was wrecked.

1872 – November 25th. The brig “Paladino”, Messina for Hull with linseed oil, ran up channel seeking shelter but failed to anchor at the Mumbles, She was driven ashore near the Swansea Infirmary and the crew were taken off by the lifeboat at daylight next day. The vessel broke up after a few tides.During the same gale the Italian barque “Antonio Luca”, Newcastle for Venice with coal & coke, was driven up channel and wrecked on Oxwich Point.

1872 – December 8th. The North Shields barque “Margaret Ann”, Quebec for Swansea with timber was driven ashore outside the piers. The crew were saved and the vessel was later refloated.During the same gale the collier “Hope” of Maryport, Cork to Swansea in ballast, was driven ashore in Porteynon Bay. The Master and three crew members managed to get ashore and the vessel quickly broke up.

1872 – During what turned out to be a very bad day in the Channel. The brig “Wallace” rolled over completely and sunk with all hands; a Nova Scotian barque was driven across the hawse of another ship and so badly damaged that she too sank with all hands. “The Eleanor”, of Quebec, was luckier. Having gone aground on Cardiff Sands the Penarth lifeboat, George Gay, managed to get to her, saving five crew members, but the mate would not leave the ship. The following day she was still there and the lifeboat went out to her again, the mate asked that they bring some of the crew back to try to save her, and fortunately they managed to refloat her and get her to Cardiff for repair.

1872 - Also on the 8th December, the Weston super Mare cutter “ Mystery” which serviced the forts in the area, left Flat Holm with an officer and eleven men in addition to the crew of two, bound for the fort at the tip of Brean Down, Somerset. Very shortly a severe gale blew up and the small boat had to head for shelter. She got behind Penarth Head but became stranded on the river bank. In the process of the stranding she also lost her punt. That evening she refloated, dragged her anchor and drifted out into Penarth Roads where she crossed, out of control, astern of the schooner John Pearce, of Fowey, and her mast was torn adrift by the schooner's mizzen boom. When her mast was lost she also lost some of her deck planking and she began to fill with water, to the point where she was close to sinking. The mate of the John Pearce, Richard Johns, launched a boat and pulled to the sinking cutter getting a rope aboard her. The crew of the John Pearce were then able to use the rope to haul the cutter alongside so that twelve of the soldiers and crew aboard her scrambled to safety. Two soldiers, however, fell between the two vessels. Richard Johns, without hesitation, got his small boat between the two larger vessels and pulled the soldiers from the water. Johns was awarded the RNLI Silver Medal for his bravery.

1873 – March 3rd. The Greek barque “Odysseus”, Dublin to Swansea in ballast, ran aground on Pwll Du Point. The crew got ashore safely but the vessel was wrecked.

1873 – April 23rd. The London barque “Nebula”, Antwerp to Cardiff in ballast, ran aground on Porteynon Point. The crew were all saved. The vessel was badly damaged but later repaired and refloated.

1873 – August 12th. The St. Malo schooner “Elizabeth”, bound for her home port with a cargo of coal from Swansea, went down south east of Worms Head. The Master and three crew members were picked up by the schooner “Pet”. The ships boy was drowned.

1873 - On 29th August the Prussian barque “Triton”, with a crew of nine, on reaching Lundy Island, turned toward the Mumbles to avoid a storm. She was driven onto the Mixon Sands and broke up. Against the orders of the master two men and a boy took one of the ship's boats but capsized, the two men being drowned whilst luckily the boy was seen drifting by another vessel and was saved. Five of the crew were saved by the paddle tug Digby Grand, and the Mumbles lifeboat saved the remaining man. The Cox of the lifeboat, Jenkin Jenkins, was presented with a binocular glass by the Emperor of Germany, and the other crew members received cash awards.

1874 – December 3rd. The Brixham schooner “Dextrous”, having previously sailed from Neath, was riding to anchor at the Mumbles when the brig “Alfred” collided with her. The brig was damaged and towed to Swansea but the schooner quickly sank and her crew boarded the “Aneroid” before being landed at the Mumbles.

1875 – January 2nd. The Swedish schooner “Britannia”, Le Havre to Cardiff in ballast, ran aground at Porteynon in poor visibility. The crew were able to walk ashore at low water. Included in the crew were two pilots assistants off the Cardiff pilot cutter “Surprize” which had foundered off Ilfracombe the previous evening.

1875 – June 24th. The Padstow schooner “Caroline Phillips” was lost on the Mixon Shoal with the loss of her crew of four.

1875 – December 22nd. During a horrible gale the Russian barque “Jenny”, Pensacola (Mexico) to Bristol with timber, went ashore below Pilton Cliffs. The crew managed to get ashore off the bowsprit but the vessel was smashed to pieces.

1876 – February 28th. The Guernsey smack “Reverie”, outward bound from Cardiff to a French port, was found upturned on the Lynch sands off Whitford. All hands perished.

1876 – March 13th. The barque “France” and the brig “Eliza B” both sailed from Swansea on the morning tide. Later that evening they collided south of Oxwich in a strong gale, which coincided with a spring tide. The barque was badly damaged and the crew, with the exception of the Mater and one trapped crew member went aboard the brig. The barque sank during the early morning hours and the Master took to the ships boat which was blown up to the Mumbles where he was rescued. The unfortunate trapped man went down with the ship.

1877 – January 24th. The schooner “Gleaning”, a regular trader in Limestone between Gower and Bideford was wrecked with the loss of all hands on Burry Holms.

1877 - February - Steamer Ethel wrecked on the Black Rock off Lundy. 19 lost only the mate survived.

1877 - On the evening of 7th March the new Penarth lifeboat, Joseph Denman, was launched to stand by to assist the brig “ Crocodile”, of Dartmouth, which had gone ashore on Cardiff Sands in a gale. Fortunately the “ Crocodile” was refloated on the flood tide and sailed on to Cardiff.

1877 – November 8th. The paddle tug “Haswell” had just left Swansea for her home port of Sunderland when she encountered a westerly gale and foundered off Oxwich. The crew of eight were picked up by the pilot cutter “Benson”.

1877 - On 6th December the barque “Johann”, of Sundsvall, Norway, stranded on the Scarweather Sands. A pilot boat with five crew went to her assistance, in the Porthcawl lifeboat (Chafyn Grove) and with the help of the Swansea to Bristol packet, Velindra, rescued the ship's crew of nine.

1878 – January 3rd. The Falmouth barque “Tocapilla”, Bolivia to Swansea with copper ore, ran ashore at Rhossili in poor visibility. She was later refloated but the Masters certificate was suspended for three months.

1878 – May 10th. The steamer “Foyle”, of Dublin, was steaming up the channel when she sank the Swansea pilot cutter “Alarm”. The crew were taken aboard the “Foyle” and later transferred to the pilot cutter “Benson”.

1878 - On 12th May the schooner “ Gipsy” belonging to the Waterford Steam Navigation Co. was on a voyage from Bristol to Liverpool and Waterford. She was towed down the River Avon by the tug Sea King but shortly after passing under Clifton Suspension Bridge she struck rocks and mud on the Bristol bank. She listed over and blocked the river. Tugs tried to move her but failed. A steam driven fire engine was then brought by barge to pump the water out of her so that the cargo could be removed, but she broke in two. The crew remained on board and removed the cargo as they were in no real danger. The only passenger had left the ship safely shortly after she had gone aground. It was not until 17 May that a channel could be opened sufficiently for ship movements in the river Avon. Eventually some weeks later the remains of the “ Gipsy” were finally dynamited and the river fully re-opened.

1878 – September 4th. The steamer “Sully”, of Le Havre, became stranded at Porteynon during poor visibility. She was later refloated and docked at Swansea.

1879 - On 8th January the barque “Sarah Ann” bound for Montevideo foundered in Swansea Bay. Ten men were saved by the Mumbles lifeboat (Wolverhampton).

1879 – January 21st. The Arendal barque “Mercur”, Boston to Penarth with a cargo of maize, was driven ashore at Slade . The crew got ashore safely but the vessel was a total loss. Later in January the brigantine “Sofia”, Naples for Swansea in ballast, was driven ashore during a south easterly gale at Longhole Gut, between Paviland and Overton. The crew of nine and the pilot managed to get ashore.

1879 – February 11th. The “Mary Stenhouse” was being towed from Barrow to Newport when the tow parted and the vessel ran aground at Rhossili. A ships boat was launched and contained nine crew members and the Masters wife. On nearing the beach a heavy swell capsized the boat and all ten were lost. The remaining eleven crew members and the mate’s wife were rescued by Rhossili L.S.A Company. The vessel was refloated the following morning by the tug “Hero”.

1879 – March 19th. The forty ton sloop “Happy Return” of Bideford, Swansea to Carmarthen with superphospahates, ran onto Porteynon Point in thick fog and became a total loss.

1879 - On 27th August the Caernarvon brig “Queen of Britain” was in difficulties near the mouth of the River Neath. The Mumbles lifeboat (Wolverhampton) saved all six crew.

1880 - On 10th February the US barque “Corea”, of Boston, became stranded on the Green Grounds near Swansea, losing her keel and dragging her anchors. Her boats were lowered but these were smashed by the heavy seas. The Mumbles lifeboat took off her crew and a tug subsequently got her to Swansea. 1880 – August 7th. A strong south westerly gale veered to the north west. The Great Yarmouth brigantine “Tidy”, Portland for Llanelli in ballast, was driven ashore at Broughton Bay. The vessel was wrecked but the crew managed to get ashore safely. When the gale veered to the north west the Glasgow steamer “Loch Etive” was caught on a lee shore at Rhossili. To escape danger the Master slipped the cables at high water and drove the vessel over the causeway between the mainland and Worms Head. 1880 - On 1st December the schooner “Pet”, of Falmouth, went ashore on the harbour bar at Port Talbot, The Mumbles lifeboat took off the crew of five who had climbed the rigging to keep clear of the sea. The schooner became a total loss soon after.

1881 - During severe gales on the 21st and 22nd of January twenty ships were ashore between Lavernock Point and West Cardiff Flats. Three were large full rigged ships, the “ Etta”, of Liverpool, the “Buckinghamshire”, of London, and the “ Mirella”, of London; three were French brigs or schooners, the “Alexandrea”, the “Amiral” and the “ Cecile”, the remainder were smaller coastal craft.

1881 – January 27th. The barque “Creswell” of Newcastle, New South Wales, Liverpool for Cardiff in ballast, became stranded at Paviland. The crew were all saved but the vessel was wrecked within five hours.

1881 - On 9th March the smack “Bristol Packet”, of Newport, was stranded off Penarth but was refloated.

1881 - March 29th. The “Geraldine”, a Weymouth schooner of ninety six tons, Plymouth to Porteynon with fertilizer, sank in Porteynon Bay. The crew managed to get ashore in the ships boat and the wreck was later sold at auction.

1881 - On 12th April the Danish barque “Marmora” was wrecked on the Scarweather Sands off Porthcawl. Eight men were saved by the Porthcawl Lifeboat (Chafyn Grove).

1881 - On 14th October the Genoese barque “ Febo” was driven up Channel by a gale, reaching Penarth Roads in a very poor state, with her fore and main masts broken off near the deck and having lost her anchors. The Penarth lifeboat, Joseph Denman, was launched and put some men on her to rig some temporary sails on a jury mast. She was taken in tow by a steam tug, and she and her crew of fourteen were taken to safety.

1881 – the famous iron paddle steamer “Pilot” was wrecked off the mouth of the Ogmore River

1882 - On 29th March the French steamer “ Liban” sank on the Tusker Sands off Porthcawl. Eight of the crew were saved by the Porthcawl Lifeboat - three lost.

1882 – November 19th. Oxwich coastguards observed a vessel crossing the bay on a course that would take her perilously close to Pwll Du Head. Warning signals were fired but the vessel ended up ashore at Pwll Du. The vessel was the Hamburg registered “Lamershagen”, bound for Swansea with a cargo of pitch, thence to load coal for Valparaiso. The Master, his crew of nineteen and the pilot, who turned out to be a hobbler came ashore in the ships boats. On the following ebb tide the Master put four hands aboard the vessel to protect the ships property but the following evening a gale blew and with the vessel working on the rocks the she broke in two. The crew made the shore by hand for handing it over cables attached to the shore.

1883 - the “Fanny” of Aberthaw was wrecked off Barry. She had been sailing the Channel for 130 years since she was built at Aberthaw

1883 – January 6th. The “Robert Williams”, a Portmadoc schooner, Swansea to Abersoch with coal, ran aground at Slade in dense fog. The crew abandoned ship and were picked up by another vessel which landed them at Milford Haven.

1883 – January 9th. The Beaumaris schooner “Parry’s Lodge”, Amlwch To Swansea with zinc ore, was wrecked on Pwll Du Point in calm but foggy conditions. The Master was drowned.

1883 – January 27th. The channel had been lashed by gales for more than two days accompanied by severe squalls with hail and rain. The “Agnes Jack”, a Liverpool steamer, Cagliari, Sardinia for Llanelli with silver bearing lead ore had left Mumbles Roads at about three a.m. where she had been sheltering while awaiting the tide Porteynon farmworkers were leaving for the days work at about five o’clock in the morning when they heard shouts and saw a vessel sunk off Porteynon Point. At first light eight men were observed clinging to the mast. The Rhossili and Oxwich L.S.A Companies attempted to get rockets aboard the vessel but the range was too great. Eventually the mast came down and all were thrown into the sea. The weather conditions were so severe that no one made the shore. As a result of this shipwreck a request was made for a lifeboat at Porteynon and a new station was opened in 1884.

1883 - On 27th January the German barque Amiral Prinz Adalbert (Captain Ludwig Leibaner), on her way from Danzig to Swansea with pitprops was struggling against a storm on the coast of the Gower Peninsular. She had already lost part of her rigging and her crew were near exhaustion. A pilot was requested to take her into Swansea but no pilot cutter was prepared to risk the storm to get to her. Instead, the Flying Scud, a tug, which was close by offered to take her in for a fee of £500. However, during the tow towards Swansea the cable parted on two occasions and finally the master ordered the anchors to be dropped. One anchor failed to reach the seabed, the other held for a short while and then dragged, the ship drifting towards the shore, eventually hitting the rocks near Mumbles Lighthouse and In the collision the ship lost all three masts. Meanwhile the tug had gone to advise the Mumbles Lifeboat (Wolverhampton) crew of the disaster. Cox Jenkin Jenkins, although advised not to put to sea, decided to go to the assistance of the barque, and with great difficulty the lifeboat was launched and proceeded to the stricken vessel. Although the lifeboat crew could not get close enough to throw a line to the ship, someone on board the barque had the presence of mind to throw down a lifebelt with a line attached and a line was eventually secured, the lifeboat put down her anchor, and the first two of the ship's crew of 15 managed to get to the lifeboat. As the third crewman was being pulled aboard the lifeboat was suddenly hit by a huge wave and overturned, throwing the crew into the sea. The boat righted itself and the crew managed to get back aboard, only for the boat to be flung over some submerged rocks. The crew of the lifeboat now tried to swim to the shore, but four were drowned plus the barques carpenter who had been taken off by the lifeboat. The survivors were all severely injured by the time they got to the shore, and the Cox’s son George Jenkins had both his legs crushed. Two lifeboatmen were seen clinging to the wrecked lifeboat. At this time two sisters, Jessie Ace and Mrs Margaret Evans, who had been with their father, Abraham Ace, in the Mumbles lighthouse, came down to the shore to see if they could help, and waded out into the heavy sea up to their shoulders to try to get to the surviving lifeboatmen. Although they could not quite reach. Jessie Ace knotted their shawls together and with the help of a gunner from the nearby fort they used the shawls as a lifeline and pulled the two men to relative safety. Meanwhile the Admiral Prinz Adalbert had survived the waves without breaking up and when the tide ebbed Abraham Ace and his two daughters helped the crew to safety where they were looked after by the people of Mumbles. Subsequently the barque did break up.Four lifeboatmen had died leaving widows and children; the cox had lost two of his sons, James and William, and his son-in-law, who were members of the crew, and another man was missing and his body was never recovered. A fund for the widows and orphans raised £3000, Jenkin Jenkins was awarded the RNLI silver medal and £50, the gunner (Hutchings) who had helped the Ace sisters received the thanks of the RNLI on vellum, but the two sisters received no recognition from the RNLI, although they did receive great acclaim in the national press and postcards were sold with their pictures on them. It is said that Queen Victoria had copies of these cards. The Empress of Germany sent them the Ace sisters the thanks of the country and gave them two silver brooches. The poem "The Women of Mumbles Head !" was written by Clement Scott to commemorate their brave actions.

1883 – January 27th. The steamer “James Grey” was lost with all hands after being driven onto the Tusker Rock.

1883 – February 7th. A weather beaten black Labrador was found wondering through the village of Overton. The dog was the sole survivor of the Paimpol schooner “Surprise”, bound for Swansea with a cargo of pitwood. The vessel was found wrecked to the west of Overton Mere, with her cables still trailing. It was assumed that she struck the Helwick before losing her anchors. This brought a total of fifty three seamen lost in a fortnight around the Gower coast alone.

1883 – February 12th. The brigantine “Reine des Fleurs”, bound for her home port of Cannes with coal from Swansea, became stranded at West Cross in a heavy gale. The crew were saved but the vessel later broke up. The cargo, hull and store were salvaged and later auctioned.

1883 - At midnight on 8th August the barque “William Miles” stranded near Porthcawl harbour and on the next day broke up and sank. The Porthcawl Lifeboat (Chafyn Grove) went out twice in heavy seas rescuing the master's wife and one other on the first trip and the master and the remaining ten crew on the second.

1883 – November 29th. After leaving Swansea, the locally built barque “Lord Marmino” was proceeding down channel when one of the seamen, who had joined the vessel in a drunken condition, started causing trouble. The Master put back for the Mumbles and put the errant mariner ashore. A replacement was sent for and on his joining, the vessel proceeded down channel. When the vessel was about five miles south of Oxwich, some steaming lights were observed. The watches change at midnight and shortly after the vessel was in collision with the steamship “James Bacon”, of Liverpool, bound from Bristol to Milford. The steamer cut right into the barque which sank in three minutes, drowning the Master. The nine survivors had taken to the ships boats and were safely towed to the Mumbles.

1883 – The St Malo schooner “Vauban”, Bordeaux for Cardiff with pit props, ran ashore under Pennard cliffs in thick weather. The vessel was wrecked but the crew got ashore safely.

1884 - On 27th January the Spanish brigantine “Juan de la Vega”, bound for Cardiff with pit props, got into difficulties off Penarth. With the aid of a tug, some hobblers and lifeboatmen from the Penarth lifeboat (Joseph Denman II) in repairing the rigging and pumping, she was taken into Cardiff.

1884 - February 12th.The Norwegian barque “Samuel”, Cardiff to Santos with coal, ran aground just east of Worms Head. The crew were saved. A rough road was built and the cargo was eventually brought ashore and sold. The vessel was wrecked.

1884 – The”Welsh Prince” (Captain William Rowe), 118-ton steamer, left Bristol on 22nd September with 42 passengers for a pleasure trip to Weston-super-Mare, Somerset. The day-trippers were to be back aboard the boat by 6pm on the same day and she was in the process of casting off, under the eyes of a large number of holidaymakers, when the last mooring rope wound itself around the propeller and in a heavy wind the small vessel was driven into Sandy Bay where the crew tried in vain to free her propeller. Captain Rowe dropped anchor as the boat was quite near the shore and raised distress signals. This brought out the lifeboatmen and the William James Holt, the Weston Lifeboat, was launched from the pier. Whilst the lifeboat was in the process of being launched the Welsh Prince began dragging her anchors and frightened passengers had to be restrained from "jumping for it" into the sea. Within 15 minutes the lifeboat had reached the vessel and 20 passengers were taken off, not without some difficulty, followed by a return journey by the lifeboat to take off the remaining passengers. All passengers were saved without injury. The actions of the Lifeboat crew were widely acclaimed and it was reported that "A great tragedy had been averted by the speed and bravery of their actions" This was the first real-life action, which the Weston lifeboat had been involved in, the station having only been established two years previously by the gift of Colonel Holt of Bangor, after whom she was named. As for the Welsh Prince, she was left stranded on the sands when the tide went out, the rope was removed from the propeller, and she was refloated on the next tide with little damage and went on plying the Channel as a passenger boat and later as a collier until 1930.

1885 – The pilot vessel “J.W.J.” was run down near the Greengrounds by the steamer “Sea Fisher” Barrow to Swansea with steel plates. The two pilots and two hobblers managed to get aboard the steamer. The pilot boat was taken in tow but quickly sank.

1886 - January 8th. The barque “Rene”, of Nantes, Cardiff for Arcachon with coal, struck heavily on the Helwick . the vessel was driven ashore at Overton and quickly broke up. Five crew members managed to get ashore but the Master, two seamen and a fifteen year old boy were drowned. They are buried at Danygraig cemetery.

1886 – February. The “Hope”, of Newport, bound from her homeport to New Ross, Co. Wexford with a cargo of coal was observed aground inside Port Eynon Point. The crew rowed ashore safely. The vessel was eventually repaired and refloated.

1886 – March 6th. The Aberystwyth brig “Xanthippe”, Jamaica to Port Talbot with phosphate rock, ran aground on the west side of Oxwich Point in thick fog. The crew abandoned ship and got ashore in the boats. When the tide ebbed, the vessel heeled over and her yards struck the rocks, where she became a total loss.

1886 - On 8th October the steamship “Agnes”, of Hartlepool, was driven ashore in Caswell Bay near Swansea and broke up. No lives were lost however.

1886 - On 14th October the iron sailing ship “ Malleny”, of Liverpool, left Cardiff for Rio de Janiero with coal. She was towed as far as Lundy Island but after the tug had left the weather worsened and the captain decided to shelter in Swansea Bay. However as she sailed in heavy seas across the bay her rudder was lost and she drifted towards the coast. Although she was sighted in the bay the high winds had taken down the telegraph lines and it was impossible to alert the Porthcawl Lifeboat. She struck the Tusker Rock off Porthcawl and all 20 crew were lost, the ship finally going ashore across the Channel at Westward Ho ! Edwin Waters, the ships carpenter on the Malleny, had been paid off in Amsterdam, unknown to his family in Appledore and, thinking he had gone down with the others, were in mourning for him when he arrived home !

1886 - On 15th October the Swansea barque “ Ocean Beauty”, bound for Valparaiso, took shelter in Mumbles Roads in the severe storms of that day. Her cables parted, however, and she drifted across Swansea Bay onto Aberavon Sands. The Mumbles lifeboat (Wolverhampton II) was launched, but could not get close enough. The crew took to the rigging and fortunately, when the tide receded without the ship breaking up, one of the crew threw an empty oil drum overboard with a line attached. This floated toward the shore sufficiently for some pilots on the beach to haul it in, and 13 crew members were able to pull themselves to safety hand over hand. Unfortunately the master and the pilot aboard the barque were drowned when they were washed overboard.

1886 - On 15th October the “ Ben-y-Gloe” (Captain Gill), a large ship sailing from Singapore to Penarth, heeled over in a gale near Nash Point and subsequently grounded on Nash Sands. The crew had managed to survive by clinging to the rigging and got onto the sands and eventually to the shore. They were in a very poor condition having lost much of their clothing, ripped off by the gale. They struggled inland to the village of Marcross and knocked on the door of the Inn where the Innkeeper refused to give them any food or drink because they had no money, although he did let them rest in an unheated storeroom ! When Captain Gill arrived at the Inn some time after his crew he ordered the Innkeeper to serve his men and grudgingly and only after assurance that payment would eventually be made they were served with food and drinks. Meanwhile the robbers had been at work on the remains of the ship and the crew's belongings had been stolen. Few of the missing items were ever recovered by the police. The South Wales newspapers said that the actions of the Innkeeper and the looters had "besmirched the reputation and honour of all Welsh people"

1886 – November 20th. The London schooner “Thames”, Port Talbot for Bilbao with general cargo, struck the Scarweather in thick fog. The vessel drifted northwards and foundered off Mumbles Head. The crew got ashore safely. 1887 - On 16th January the Italian barque “Caterina”, was wrecked in a Force 9 gale on Nash Sands off Porthcawl, after leaving Cardiff with coal. Her crew of twelve and the pilot were all lost.

1887 – January 18th. The sloop “Argus”, Lannion to Cardiff with potatoes, was driven ashore at Llangennith during a southerly gale. The vessel became a total loss. The Master was severely injured but the crew managed to get ashore. The vessel was wrecked.

1887 - On 26th January the “Ribble”, of Whitehaven was in collision with the Coniston Fell of Liverpool, off Mumbles Head. The Coniston Fell beached , but the Ribble sunk so that only her mast was above water. Fortunately the Captain and three crew were able to cling to the rigging and were saved by the Mumbles Lifeboat, Wolverhampton II. Two men from the Ribble drowned when the boat they had launched from her was swamped. One of those in the boat was saved by a shore boat.

1887 - March - SS “City of Exeter” lost off Lundy. 16 lost out of total crew of 19.

1887 – March 22nd. This was the first service launch of the Porteynon lifeboat, when a brig was seen to be stranded on Oxwich Point. The lifeboat arrived at the scene to find that the crew of the “Prophete Elie”, of Nantes, had safely got ashore.

1887 – May 7th. The Glasgow steamer “Ashdale” , France to Mumbles for orders ran ashore at Porteynon Point in thick fog. The vessel lost her rudder and stern post and was later towed to Swansea by the tug “Challenger” 1887 – November 1st. The Norwegian barque “Helvetia”, Campeltown, New Brunswick for Swansea with deals had arrived at the Mumbles the night of the 31st. A fresh south-easterly breeze sprang up and the Master decided to stand down channel. When the vessel was abeam of the Helwick the wind freshened to a south-westerly gale. By now the barque was labouring heavily and being driven nearer to a lee shore. She drifted over the Helwick Bank, losing some of her deck cargo. She was then run in around the Worm into Rhossili Bay to anchor. At low water the barque struck the bottom very heavily and the local L.S.A. team were called out. On crew member was brought ashore by Breeches Buoy, and the rest got ashore in the ships boats on the next making tide. The vessel appeared to be riding well to her cables until the wind went around to the west. She parted her anchor cables and was driven onto the beach where her remains lay to this day. About five hundred tons of timber was salvaged and the vessel stripped of everything that was saleable.

1888 - On 13th January the Hull steamship “Milan” on its way to Bristol from Alexandria was driven ashore near Overton Cliffs in the Gower in dense fog. She soon began to break up on the rocks. The Port Eynon Lifeboat rescued 11 men and the remaining crew were rescued by the use of the Coastguard Rocket Apparatus.

1888 –May 8th. The Padstow brigantine “Henry Edmunds”, bound for Swansea in ballast, was wrecked at the foot of Overton Cliffs. The crew survived.

1890 - On 23rd January the square-rigger “Cambrian Duchess” of Liverpool on a voyage from Liverpool to Iquique, Chile, was beaten back by heavy weather and sought refuge in Mumbles Roads. She dropped anchor but it dragged in soft ground and she drifted into the Swansea owned (Aberdeen registered) barque Ambassador, causing severe damage to both ships. The Cambrian Duchess was towed to Swansea by a tug but drove into the dock wall. Four lifeboatmen from Swansea were put aboard the Ambassador to help to get her into Swansea. However on arrival she was declared to be beyond economic repair. The Cambrian Duchess was repaired and sailed on but later sunk in the South Atlantic.

1890 - On 26th January the barque “Ashlowe”, of New Brunswick went aground when her cable parted off Mumbles Head but subsequently refloated, only to run aground again near the Lifeboat Station. Her master decided to abandon ship and the crew of eleven were taken off by the Mumbles Lifeboat.

1890 – March 28th. The steamer “Benamain”, of London, Swansea for Le Treport with general cargo, stranded on the east side of Lundy in thick fog. She refloated the next morning and while returning to Swansea foundered seven miles off the Mumbles. The crew of twelve were rescued by the pilot cutter “Rival” and safely landed at Swansea.

1890 - In December the “Uppingham”, on a voyage from Cardiff to China, struck rocks at Long Peak near Hartland Point, Devon, and 18 of the 28 crew died.

1891 – The Cork brigantine “Sarsfield”,, bound for Newport in ballast, entered thick fog banks in the early hours. No lights were visible and when the fog lifted, a headland was sighted and it was thought to be Hartland Point. It was in fact Worms Head, and the vessel was soon ashore north of Diles Lake on Rhossili beach. The Master, his wife and the crew of five managed to get ashore and they were later able to salvage some of their possessions but the vessel became a wreck.

1891 – March 1st. The Le Havre brigantine “H.L.C”, Port Talbot to Pornic with coal, grounded on the Mixon in thick fog. The crew got ashore safely but the vessel broke up on the next tide.

1891 - On 10th December the large four master “Drumblair”, left Barry for Mauritius with a cargo of coke and railway materials, but because of a severe gale, waited in Barry Roads. The severity of the gale, however, caused her to drag her anchors and landed up stranded on Sully Island. A steam tug tried to connect with her but was unsuccessful and eventually towed the Penarth lifeboat (Joseph Denman II) to Sully. Some of the ship's crew had been able to get off in the ship's boat but the remaining 15 and the captain were taken off by the lifeboat. The ship did survive, however, and was salved.

1891 – December 23rd. The brig “Felicete”, of Vannes, bound from Nantes to Swansea with pit props, ran aground on Oxwich Point. Porteynon lifeboat was launched but on its arrival the crew had managed to get ashore. The vessel became a total loss.

1892 - February -The French ship “Tunisie” went ashore on Lundy in a severe gale, snow storm and heavy seas. The Lighthouse keeper and seven others saved all 21 crew.

1893 – November 16th. The Milford ketch “Favourite”, became disabled in a heavy gale. The next day she had drifted to a point three miles off Worms Head where the Mate left the vessel and rowed up the coast. The Porteynon lifeboat was launched and brought him ashore. The Master and a seaman were brought off the vessel just before she foundered

1893 - On 13th December the Norwegian barque “Althea”, went aground in Oxwich Bay. Gower, in a severe gale. The weather was so bad that when the Port Eynon Lifeboat was launched she was immediately driven broadside onto the beach. People on shore, however, managed to manhandle her so that her bow was facing out to sea and then pushed her out, assisting the oarsmen to get her to sea again. It then took an hour and a half to reach Oxwich Bay, by which time the Althea was a total wreck, all her crew of 10 being crowded into one ship's boat. They all managed to get aboard the lifeboat and were saved.

1894 - On 22nd March the schooner “ Glenravil Miner” of Barrow became stranded at Overton, Gower. Her crew of three took to the ship's boat and were picked up by a passing schooner and subsequently transferred to the Port Eynon Lifeboat. The Glenravil Miner then sunk becoming a total wreck.

1894 – October 24th. The barque “Vennerne”, of Sonderho, Denmark, whilst on passage from Aberdovey to Swansea in ballast, sought shelter inside the Worm. After spending hours straining at the cables, she eventually parted and drove onto the beach under the cliffs. Although the coastguards were quickly on the scene with rocket apparatus, the Master, his wife and child and the seven other crew members, abandoned in the boat and eventually got ashore safely. The following day the tug “Privateer” failed to get the vessel off the beach and it became a wreck.

1895 – April 20th. While boarding a pilot in Mumbles Roads, the crew of the pilot vessel “Mary” heard a loud crash to the west. The pilot boat proceeded to the vicinity and discovered the four hundred ton Glasgow steamer “Severn” cruising around. The tug master was told that the steamer had collided with a tug , which rapidly sank with all hands. It transpired that it was the local tug “Wasp”, which sank with the loss of her crew of three and the friend of one of the crew members. The tugs regular Master was on leave at the time of the fatal collision. The wreck was later raised and beached in front of the George Hotel.

1895 – October 1st. The Llanelli and Burry Port pilot cutters “Smiling Morn” and “Maria” were both anchored inside the Worm when a westerly gale blew up. Both vessels dragged their anchors and the “Smiling Morn” drove across the “Marias” bows. The vessels collided and both quickly sank with the crews abandoning and getting ashore safely.

1895 – October 4th. A vessel was seen aground on the Mixon and the two wives of the lighthouse keepers at the Mumbles raised the alarm. The lifeboat was launched and towed to scene by the tug “Privateer”. The vessel had struck the western end of the shoal and was quickly engulfed by huge seas. Wreckage was plentiful but there was no sign of any survivors. A body was washed ashore a few days later and was identified as that of the Master of the Waterford brigantine “ Zoe”, which had been bound for Swansea with a cargo of pitch from Liverpool.

1895 – 2nd October - The “Llanisley”, a schooner, foundered in a storm off Lundy. Crew of four took to the ship's boat and made for Ilfracombe but the boat capsized and all were lost.

1897 - On 2nd February the master of the Hull steamship “ Imbros”,Black Sea to Swansea, lost his bearings in dense fog and the ship became grounded near the East Helwick Buoy. Her hull became twisted and her engines damaged. The Port Eynon Lifeboat went to assess the situation and called for tugs to tow her into port. However the tide lifted the ship over the bank and she was able to anchor, a passing coastal steamer then took her in tow and, accompanied by the lifeboat, the Imbros was beached at Mumbles.

1897 - On 7th April in a moderate wind the schooner “James and Agnes”, of Lancaster, beached at Black Rock Bay near Porthcawl, having already bumped over the Scarweather Sands and done considerable damage. Three of the crew escaped in the ship's boat but the Porthcawl lifeboat (Speedwell) went to the rescue of the master and mate who had remained aboard.

1898 – A two thousand ton steamer, the “Marshall Keith”, Dieppe for Llanelli ran aground on a sandbank opposite Broughton Bay. She refloated on the next flood tide.

1898 - In December the tug “Saxon” stranded on Frenchman's Bank off Swansea when a cable got caught in her propeller. The crew were taken off by the Mumbles Lifeboat.

1899 - On the evening of 12th January the Rev Hockley, secretary of the Lynmouth Lifeboat (Louisa), received a telegram from the owner of the Anchor Hotel at Porlock, Somerset, reporting that there was a large sailing vessel in the bay that seemed to be in difficulties. There was a very savage storm underway, with very heavy seas lashing the coast. The Lynmouth cox, Jack Crocombe, and his crew decided that they could not launch from Lynmouth and would have to take the lifeboat to Porlock, a distance of 12 miles over very difficult terrain, to launch it. Anyone knowing Lynmouth and Porlock would realise that this was going to entail hauling the boat up the very steep hill out of Lynmouth, along the cliffs, and then down the one in four gradient into Porlock ! The weight of the boat was around three and a half tons ! and the weather conditions were terrible. Sixteen horses were provided to pull the carriage and men had to go out ahead to dig out the banks on the roadside to enable the carriage to pass. The journey started at about 8pm and most of the residents of Lynmouth joined in helping to get the boat on its carriage up Lynmouth Hill. At the top of the hill one of the carriage wheels came off and had to be replaced. The weather was now so bad that most of the helpers, other than the crew, turned back once the hilltop had been reached. Further along they had to remove a section of stone wall which was hindering the passage of the carriage. At County Gates the boat had to be removed from the carriage and placed on skids as the carriage was too wide to go through the lane, whilst the carriage was taken across fields to meet the lifeboat further on. From there the men needed all their remaining strength to hold back the carriage descending Porlock Hill. On arrival at Porlock they found that the sea wall had been washed away and they had to take a detour to get to the beach. They finally reached the sea at about 6am on the 13 January. Refusing to stop to eat they immediately set about launching the boat. The 8-oared lifeboat was then rowed into the gale to reach the struggling Forrest Hall (Captain James Aliss) , a 1900-ton Liverpool barque on its way from Belfast home. She had been under tow but the line had parted and the rudder had been taken off in the storm. She had dropped anchor in the hope of riding out the storm but had sent out distress signals as a precaution. The Captain was advised by the Lifeboat cox to wait until daylight when it was hoped to get a line to the ship. At dawn the tug John Joliffe from Liverpool arrived. The lifeboat crew got a line from the tug on board the Forrest Hall and the tug started for Barry Docks, with the Lifeboat in attendance in case it was needed. The Forrest Hall began to drift towards Nash Sands but fortunately another Liverpool tug, the Sarah Joliffe, was at hand and the two tugs took her into Barry at 6pm on 13th January. The Lifeboat also landed at Barry where they were royally received at a hotel and tended by the Shipwrecked Mariners Society. The following day the Lifeboat returned to Lynmouth.

1899 – July 5th. The Cardigan ketch “Three Sisters” had sailed from Port Talbot on the morning tide bound for Llangranog with a cargo of coal. The vessel had put into the Mumbles to await the ebb tide and got under way at 3-30p.m. As the vessel made her way down channel the weather became thick and a decision was taken to put back for the Mumbles. Off the Greengrounds buoy the fog became very thick and the vessel was in collision with the steamer “Tweed”, Swansea for the Clyde. The ketch was cut in two and the Master was trapped between the tiller and the gunwale. The Master just managed to free himself as the vessel went down and a boat from the steamer picked him up. The two other crew members, one of who was the Master’s sixteen-year-old son were drowned.

1899 – November 11th. The Norwegian barque “Duisberg” Parrsboro, Nova Scotia for the Mumbles for orders, with timber, became stranded on Oxwich Point. According to the crew the vessel had been leaking badly for a few weeks. The Porteynon lifeboat arrived at the scene they found that the vessels fore and main masts were gone and the crew had got ashore safely. The crew managed to get aboard the vessel on the next low water and retrieved their possessions. The cargo of timber was later salvaged but the vessel was a total loss.

1900 - the “Welbury”, from Cardiff struck the rocks at Long Peak near Hartland, Devon. The second officer had been one of the survivors from the wreck of the Uppingham on the same rocks in 1890.

1900 – February 25th. The steamship “Ethiopia”, Hamburg for Port Talbot in ballast, became stranded on Oxwich Point. Local tugs failed to refloat the vessel and the following Tuesday the Liverpool salvage vessel “Ranger” arrived and after a days work the “Ethiopia” was refloated and towed to Port Talbot for repairs. No lives were lost.

1900 – May 17th. The steam collier “St. Vincent” ran aground on Dangers Reef at Rhossili and successfully refloated herself.

1900 – June 15th. The sixty-seven ton iron screw steamer “Tivyside”, Carmarthen for Bristol in ballast, became stranded on Overton in thick fog. The crew of six and the seven passengers aboard got ashore by ships boat.

1900 – November. The barque “Agot” , in ballast, was driven ashore on Whitford Sands. The crew were taken off by the Llanelli pilot boat and a pilot was left on board to guard the vessel from looters. The pilot found the ships spirits and when the Master returned to the “Agot” the pilot was so drunk that he fell from the vessel onto the sands and was unconscious. The vessel also ended up a total wreck.

1900 - On 28th December the Italian barque “Zefiro”, collided with the ship “King's County”, of Windsor, Nova Scotia, near the English and Welsh Grounds light vessel. She eventually went ashore near Clevedon, Somerset. On the same day the Pegasus, of Liverpool, bound from San Francisco to Sharpness, Glos., was driven ashore near Lavernock Point and four of her crew were washed overboard. She was refloated on the next tide and was taken on to Sharpness for repair.

1901 - On 2nd February the schooner “ Goonlaze” (Captain Thomas Haddock), of Hayle, Cornwall, left Bristol. She is thought to have tried to shelter from the weather in Barnstaple Bay, but was presumably driven onto the rocks. The wreck was not discovered until some days later when, as a result of finding the body of a seaman in a field near Peppercombe, the Coastguards made a search of the area and found the wreckage under the cliffs. Three bodies were eventually recovered.

1901 - On 7th November in a thick fog the Norwegian full-rigged ship “Elfi” became stranded near Nash Point. The Porthcawl lifeboat went out to her but she was found not to be seriously damaged. A lifeboat man was put aboard as a pilot and the lifeboat stood by until a tug arrived and towed her to Bristol.

1903 – On 1st February the Mumbles Lifeboat, “James Stevens”, No 12, went the assistance of the steamship “Christina”, of Waterford. However, as she was in no danger the lifeboat made for Port Talbot. The conditions at the bar to the River Avon were rough and the lifeboat was capsized by a huge wave. She righted herself immediately but was then hit again and went out of control. Six of her crew were washed away and she was thrown into the breakwater. The Dock Gateman at Port Talbot called for help Captain Humphrey Jones, the Harbour Master, and seven other men rushed to her. Captain Jones saved one man and was then lowered down the side of the breakwater on a rope. As he was about to save another man a wave washed them both away and he lost his grip on the rope. The six lifeboatmen lost were, Cox Thomas Rogers, 2nd Cox Daniel Claypit, Robert Smith, George Michael, David John Morgan and James Gammon. Eight lifeboatmen managed to escape the disaster, including Thomas Michael and three of the Gammon family. The lost lifeboatmen left 38 children fatherless and a fund was started for their dependants.

1903 – September 10th. During a severe westerly gale, the schooner “Glenfeadon” parted her cables while anchored at the Mumbles and was driven ashore near the lifeboat house. She was refloated the following day by the tug “Falcon”. After the storm, the beach at Rhossili was littered with wreckage, including the stern of the “J.K. Allport” of Plymouth. A fortnight later bodies were washed ashore at Swansea, Porteynon and Three Cliffs. It was later discovered that the vessel was the S.S. “Ierne”, which had sailed from Newport on September 10th. With a cargo of coal for Dublin. It was assumed that the vessel had foundered off the Gower coast.

1905 - On 10th February the French ketch, “ Notre Dame de Paris” was reported in distress off Oxwich Point, Gower, and the Mumbles Lifeboat, Charlie Medland, went to her aid. She was found to have shipped a lot of water and her sails had been blown away. Her crew were exhausted and her master asked for men to board her and try to save her. After three quarters of an hour four lifeboat men got aboard and managed to free her anchors which had been fouled by an underwater obstruction, and a tug was able to tow her to Swansea.

1905 – April 12th. The ketch “Bristol Packet”, having discharged part of her cargo of fertiliser onto the beach at Porteynon, was scheduled to sail the short distance to Oxwich, when a gale sprung up and drove her ashore where she was wrecked.

1906 – April 12th. The Swansea tug “Indefatigable” ran onto the rock shelf below Whiteshell Point in thick fog. The crew managed to get ashore at low water and hopes were held high to refloat the vessel. Unfortunately, the vessels port bow was holed two days later and the vessel was eventually abandoned.

1906 - On 30th May HMS “ Montagu”, a Hunter Class Battleship (14000 tons) struck Great Shutter Rock off Lundy in a thick fog. She was badly holed and listing to starboard and had lost her propellers. The Admiralty immediately sent four battleships and a cruiser and two Liverpool salvage tugs to try to save the ship. Work started on removing equipment in order to lighten the ship in the hope of re-floating her. However this was to little avail and by August she was still stuck and was finally written off as a total wreck. In 1907 she was sold for salvage but it took a further 15 years to remove her completely during which she was a regularly visited attraction for the pleasure steamers of the Bristol Channel. The Captain and Navigating Officer of the “Montagu” were court marshalled and severely reprimanded and dismissed their vessel.

1906 – December 21st. The ketch “Tilley”, of Gloucester, Falmouth to Sharpness with granite, sprang a leak. The Master, his son and a seaman abandoned ship and were later picked up by the steamship “Ragusa2 and landed at Swansea. The vessel went down a mile and a half off the Helwick.

1907 – January 19th. The brigantine “Marie Therese”, Arcachon to Swansea with pitwood, struck on the western end of the Helwick during thick fog. The crew of eight abandoned when the vessel started sinking and rowed to Tenby.

1907 – June 10th. During heavy wind and rain a small boat was observed in the entrance channel to Swansea Docks. The occupants of this boat were the Master and his wife, three crew members and a boy, belonging to the schooner “Bougainville”, of Lannion. Their ship had sailed from Swansea on June 7th. With a cargo of Patent Fuel. Sixty miles south west of Lundy the vessel sprang a serious leak and despite vigorous pumping, the vessel was driven back up channel. The crew abandoned ship four miles off Oxwich Point and the vessel went down about twenty minutes later.

1907 - On 16th June the small Penarth yacht “Firefly”, was sailing off Lavernock Point when she capsized and threw her three crew into the water. A man on shore saw what happened and telephoned to Penarth for assistance. He then cycled to Sully House where a well known local yachtsman Daniel Rees lived. Rees put out immediately in a six foot dinghy in a moderate gale. He managed to get to the men who had gone overboard and got two of them aboard. He could not take on the third man because that would have sunk his dinghy, so he had to be left clinging to the gunwale of the yacht. Meanwhile Daniel Rees' brother Ivor and nephew Morgan ran to the beach to try to find another boat. The only one they could find was a small sailing yacht moored off-shore so Ivor Rees swam out to her whilst Morgan Rees ran back to the house to get some sails. They managed to rig the sails and sailed the four miles to the upturned yacht where they rescued the third man of the crew. Daniel Rees was awarded the gold medal of the RNLI, Ivor Rees the silver medal and Morgan Rees the RNLI Record of Thanks inscribed on vellum (as the bronze medal had not then been instituted)

1907 – November 22nd. The Aberystwyth ketch “Jane”, Aberaeron to Port Talbot in ballast, was driven into Pwll Du Bay during a southerly gale. The crew, consisting of the Master and Mate got ashore safely but the vessel was wrecked.

1907 - On 26th December the Captain's wife and crew of five of the Cardigan schooner “John Ewing”, were brought ashore by the Mumbles Lifeboat after the schooner's cargo had shifted . The next day the weather was calmer and the schooner was towed into Swansea.

1908 - At 9pm on 29th August the “ Verajean”, (Captain Ritchie) , built Dumbarton, Scotland, 1891 (1933 tons, 3 masted all-steel sailing ship) carrying 3000 tons of patent fuel for Chile left the Roath Dock, Cardiff in charge of the tugs Lady Morgan and Salvor. The weather had not been good when the ship left the dock, but the wind now increased to force 8 to 9 and the Captain decided to wait in Barry Roads until morning. The following morning the ship set off down the Bristol Channel still in charge of the two tugs. It took until the following day to reach Lundy Island where the tugs left her. (There was later a dispute about whether the tugs should have left her at Lundy). Because the weather was worsening the Captain decided to make back up Channel to Barry Roads. The ship got to the entrance to the Roads but the depth of water was misjudged and the anchors which were dropped with the expectation of hitting the seabed did not do so and the ship was left at the mercy of the storm which continued to worsen. The Captain then gave the order to abandon ship and within minutes of the crew leaving the ship she hit the rocks at Rhoose Point and settled about 200 yards off the coast. The Captain and all crew were saved. The storm which had caused the ship to be abandoned was "The Great Hurricane of 1908" which caused severe damage all along the South Wales coast. The Verajean was eventually towed to Barry Docks but was so badly damaged that she was scrapped. There was a Board of Trade Enquiry in November 1908 which exonerated the Captain and the two tug masters.

1908 - On the 31st August the ketch “Trebiskin”, of Padstow, Cornwall, became stranded on Cardiff Grounds and the Barry lifeboat (John Wesley) was launched but a change in the wind allowed the three man crew of the Trebiskin to refloat her.

1908 – On 1st September the Helwick Lightship, which marked the dangerous sands west of Port Eynon Head near Swansea, was severely damaged by a storm and close to sinking. The passing ship Lawrenny Castle saw her distress signals and on arrival at Swansea a report was telegraphed to the Tenby Lifeboat which was more likely than the Mumbles boat to be able to assist. The Tenby Lifeboat (William and Mary Devey) put out to try to rescue the lightship crew, which in severe conditions they managed to do. They then rowed to Swansea despite the fact that the crew were near exhaustion and some suffering from exposure after seven hours at sea in terrible conditions.

1908 - On 1st September the “Amazon”, of Greenock, a four master, on a voyage from Port Talbot to Iquique, Chile, with a cargo of coal, was driven eight miles across Swansea Bay when her anchors dragged and her cables parted in severe weather, and she eventually became stranded west of Port Talbot. The crew lashed themselves to the bulwarks and to the masts, but three of the masts were lost, and then the Main mast broke free too with 20 men lashed to it. Only six of these 20 men survived, and that by the bravery of some local men who waded into the water and pulled them ashore. Eventually, after many, many attempts, a line was got aboard by means of the Coastguard Rocket Apparatus, and two men who remained on board were saved. In all 20 crew members were drowned including Captain Garrick of Penarth. The wreck subsequently broke up. The Amazon public house in Port Talbot is named after the vessel.

1910 – April 15th. The ketch “Notre Dame de Lourdes”, bound for Llanelli with a cargo of pit props, was driven ashore on Rhossili beach, just south of Burry Holms. The crew made the shore safely. After a few tides the vessel broke her back.

1910 – October 19th. The Arklow owned schooner, “James & Agnes”, Swansea for Cowes, I.O.W. with 220 tons of anthracite, sailed on the morning tide. A gale blew up in the evening and the vessel was sighted by another Arklow owned schooner, the “Venedocian”, as she passed to the east of Lundy. The “James & Agnes was never seen again and a Board of Trade enquiry concluded that she must have been run down by an unknown steamer in the vicinity of Lundy Island. .The crew consisted of Captain Horan and four other Arklow men.

1911 –January 29th. The Fowey schooner “Wiln”, Devonport for Llanelli with scrap arrived off the Burry Estuary some time before there was enough water to permit her passage through the banks. The Master decided to stand off and later that evening the vessel was in collision with the Liverpool steamer “Irena”, Briton Ferry to Dublin with coal. The steamer launched her boat and saved three of the schooners crew, one of whom died later from exposure. The Master and two others went down with the vessel.

1911 – October 30th. During a severe gale , signals were sent up by the Helwick light-vessel. Both the Mumbles and Tenby lifeboats were launched and reached the lightship about 6.p.m. and were told that about three o’clock a schooner was seen to founder two miles to the south. A great deal of wreckage was found. Two bodies were discovered along with a seaman’s chest, which helped to identify the vessel as the brigantine “Sicie”, which had sailed from Swansea bound for Lorient with a cargo of coal.

1911 – December. The German steamship “Amisia”, went ashore near Sully Island but the crew were able to walk ashore at low water.

1912 - February 17th. The Cunard steamship “Veria”, of Liverpool, bound for Swansea, was steaming east near Porteynon, when some lights were seen crossing the bow. The steamers engines were put full astern, lifebelts were thrown over the side and a boat launched. The steamers crew searched the area for an hour and found nothing. She then proceeded to Swansea and reported the incident and after inquiries were made it was found to be the Swansea tug “Charioteer”, which had gone down with her crew of five.

1912 - In February the Greek ship “Vasilefs Georgios”, was run into in Barry Roads, by the Cardiff steamer Kildonan. The Barry lifeboat stoodby until she was taken in tow by tugs.

1912 – September 5th. The Swansea based trawler “Picton Castle” was heading for her home port during a westerly gale, when off Oxwich the crew observed a schooner being swamped by heavy seas and capsizing. The trawler launched her boat and rescued the Master, four crew members and the ships dog from the “Esperance”, which had been bound for Swansea from Boulogne with a cargo of pitwood.

1912 - On 26th December the schooner “Alice”, of Dunkirk, on her way into Swansea to avoid a storm, grounded near the East Pier. A steam pilot cutter, Beaufort, took her in tow but the rope parted and left the schooner drifting. The Mumbles Lifeboat took off two crew but the Beaufort managed to get another line aboard and towed her into Port.

1912 - On 30th December the “Vigilant”, went ashore on Breaksea Point. The Barry lifeboat went to her assistance but could not get near enough. Four of the ship's crew were hauled through the sea on ropes to safety but the captain and two others stayed aboard. Fortunately the ship held together and those on board were able to walk ashore at low tide.

1913 – January 20th. The S.S. “Brodland”, Port Talbot for Punta Arenas with coal, was leaving Port Talbot being towed by the steam tug “Emily Charlotte”, when during a heavy squall the towrope parted and the vessel was blown ashore near the Jersey Beach Hotel. The local life-saving apparatus and the local harbour master were quickly on the scene. At first the L.S.A. team were unable to connect to the ship but managed to connect when the tide receded. After three hours, forty-two crewmembers were brought ashore including the Master Captain Vernon. The vessel was later declared a total wreck.

1913 - On 13th February the Austrian steamship “Epidauro”, stranded at the foot of Overton Cliffs, Gower. The Port Eynon Lifeboat was launched when the Chief Officer and three men of the Epidauro in the ship's boat arrived at Port Eynon and reported the stranding. Charles Bevan, the lifeboat secretary and the bowman arrived too late to go out with the crew so they walked to Overton Creek to see if they could be of help. There they found a second boat from the Epidauro with two men aboard. The two lifeboatmen joined the crew on this boat and they went out to the ship. As the men from the boat were climbing aboard the Epidauro the boat was struck by a wave and capsized throwing three men into the sea. Fortunately by this time the lifeboat had arrived and saved them. When the tide receded the Epidauro was left high and dry and the crew were able to walk ashore. However the ship became a total wreck.

1913 - On 15th February the Manchester steamer “ Bluebell” foundered on the rocks at Culver's Hole in the Gower, and broke up. The crew were taken off by the Port Eynon Lifeboat.

1913 – November 19th. The Cardiff tug “Atlas” collided with the ketch “Leonora”, Swansea to Barnstable with coal. The ketch was badly damaged and the crew abandoned ship and rowed ashore at Mumbles. The ketch drifted ashore at Rotherslade and broke up in heavy weather the following day.Two days later the steamship “Merthyr” ran ashore in thick fog at Oxwich. The vessel refloated the next day and proceeded on passage.

1914 - On 22nd February an assistant pilot and an apprentice, cruising in the cutter “Dawn”, saw the ketch “ Elizabeth Couch”, of Barnstaple, in severe distress, with her sails torn. The weather was too severe for them to get alongside her so they waited for the storm to subside. Eventually, however, they could see that the ketch was close to sinking so they made a daring effort to save the crew. Apprentice Daniel P Davies left the cutter in its punt and pulled for the ketch, whilst assistant pilot William Hooper kept the cutter as close as possible to the ketch, creating shelter for the punt. The two crew got into the punt and were successfully rescued. Daniel Davies was awarded the RNLI Silver Medal and William Hooper the formal Thanks on Vellum.

1914 - October 14th. A collision occurred near the Helwick lightship between the steamers “Corundum”, Burry Port to Rouen with coal, and the “Kyleness”, Swansea to Liverpool with coal. The “Corundum” foundered very quickly and the crew were picked up by the other vessel which returned to Swansea to land survivors and have repairs carried out to he damaged bows.

1915 - On 4th February the Fowey schooner “ I'll Away”, burnt flares to signal her distress off Swansea and the Mumbles Lifeboat went out to find her dragging her anchor and labouring heavily in the storm. The crew of three were saved and the schooner was eventually salvaged.

1915 - On 5th March the Steamship “ Dongola”, of Glasgow, went ashore in Porthkerry Bay. Two patrol ships took off the passengers and the ship was subsequently refloated, the Barry lifeboat being in attendance in case of need.

1915 – December 27th. The Wexford schooner “Elizabeth Jane”, which had been sheltering in Mumbles Roads for a number of days, was observed firing distress signals. A strong gale was blowing and the Swansea pilot cutter “Beaufort”, which was on station in the bay signalled for the Mumbles lifeboat and proceeded with all haste to the scene.. On arrival the vessel was sinking in huge seas and despite lines being thrown to men clinging to the rigging, the vessel went down with the loss of all hands.

1916 - On 1st January after standing by the Glasgow steamer “Dunvegan”, which had gone ashore at Oxwich, Gower, the Port Eynon Lifeboat, Janet, returning to port, was struck by heavy seas and capsized twice. Most of the lifeboat men were thrown into the sea but clung to lifelines and managed to get back aboard. However the Cox William Gibbs, 2nd Cox William Eynon and lifeboat man George Harry were found to be missing. Although the lifeboat searched for the missing men they were not found. William Gibbs was a bachelor but a fund was raised for the dependants of the other two men, and a memorial was built at Port Eynon Church. The loss of the three men resulted in a decision to close the Port Eynon Lifeboat station.

1916 – February 29th. The Swedish vessel “Mercia”, Bilbao to Briton Ferry with iron ore, ran aground at Pennard during a severe snowstorm. Despite efforts by the pilot cutter “Beaufort” and the tug “Trusty”, attempts to refloat the vessel failed, A few days later the vessel broke in two. Her cargo was salvaged later that year.

1916 – March 28th. In near hurricane winds and blinding snow the Russian schooner “Olga”, Moss Point, Mississippi for Swansea with pit props, parted he anchor cables and was blown onto Mumbles Head. The crew managed to get ashore safely with the assistance of the lighthouse keepers. The vessel was later refloated but considered a constructive total loss and sold for breaking.

1916 – October 29th. The former German vessel “Tridonia”, a barque that had been seized as a prize in a British port, was on passage from Dublin to Buenos Aires in ballast. During a severe gale the vessel lost some canvas and was driven up channel and managed to anchor off Porteynon where she made signals for a pilot. At the fourth attempt, the pilot cutter “Beaufort” succeeded in getting a pilot aboard. The offer of a tow up the coast was refused. At midday the following day the anchor cables parted and the Not Under Command signals were hoisted.. The vessel was driven ashore west of Oxwich Point and the Oxwich and Rhossili rocket companies were quickly in attendance. The Mate, carpenter and two crewmembers attempted to get a line ashore but their boat capsized and they were fortunate to get ashore without to harm. By the time the evening tide started flooding, the vessels stern and most of her main deck were awash and the crew, including the Masters wife were on the forecastle and jib boom. The second mate had panicked and locked himself in a deckhouse and was drowned, as was the Master, who had gone to assist him. Lines were eventually put aboard the vessel and twenty survivors, including the pilot and the Masters wife, were brought ashore. One other seaman was drowned and lies buried in Oxwich churchyard.

1916 – November 17th. A southeasterly gale blew the previous evening and into the morning when the schooner “St. Christophe”, Blaye nr. Bordeaux for Swansea with pitwood, dragged her anchors. She was driven onto the Cherrystones, at Mumbles Head where she settled, and with a rough sea and an ebb tide she rapidly began to break up. With the assistance of the two lighthouse keepers and the garrison based on Mumbles Head, the crew of eight were rescued after hand for handing over a cable put aboard. The vessels dog was given a piece of wood and he jumped into the sea and swam ashore with it firmly between his teeth.

1916 – December 26th. The French vessel “Saint Louis”, Bordeaux for Swansea, struck a mine off Mumbles Head and went down with the loss of three crewmembers. The following day another French vessel, the “Paul Paix” arrived in Mumbles Roads badly damaged by a mine.

1917 – October 24th. The steam hopper “Franklin” , general cargo from Cardiff, capsized while at anchor in Mumbles Roads during a northwesterly gale. The Mate, cook, a fireman and a seaman, took to the boat on one side of the vessel but were drowned. The Master and eight other crewmembers abandoned from the other side. Their boat was swamped but the pilot cutter “Beaufort” picked up the surviving crewmembers.

1917 – December 5th. The steamship “Seaforth”, Barry to St. Malo with coal, struck the submerged wreck of the “Franklin” and foundered within ten minutes. The Master and ten hands were picked up and safely landed at Swansea. Both wrecks were raised the following April.

1918 - On 2nd November the Belfast steamer “ Devonshire”, was driven ashore East of Swansea in a severe gale. Because most able-bodied men were in the Services due to the War, a scratch crew consisting of veterans manned the Mumbles Lifeboat, and they saved the 13 crew of the steamer.

1918 – November 7th. Wreckage was seen on the Mixon and identified as Padstow ketch “Trebiskin”. None of the crew were ever found.

1918 – November 26th. The Norwegian steamer “Nanset” became stranded in Oxwich Bay during thick fog. The crew got ashore safely in the boats but the vessel capsized on the beach. After an unsuccessful salvage attempt, the vessel was broken up for scrap.

1918 – December 2nd. The steamship “Tours”, St Nazaire to Swansea in ballast went aground in Deepslade Bay, ( also known as Hunts Bay). Tugs failed to refloat the vessel and she was sold for £1,200, where she lay. She was later sold on to a salvage syndicate for £4,500 and after many months of hard work, the vessel was towed clear by the tugs “Challenger”, “Staghound” and “Foxhound” on June 29th 1919.

1919 - On 19th April in a heavy fog, the Royal Mail Lines steamer “Tyne”, London to Swansea with a cargo cement , cut in two the French brigantine “ Fleur de Marie”, off Swansea. The French crew of five managed to get into their boat and were eventually picked up by the “Tyne” which had been searching for them in the fog. However, the “Tyne” got off course whilst undertaking the search and she eventually ran onto the rocks at Rothers Sker, just east of Rotherslade. Fortunately the crew of 50 were able to walk ashore and the Tyne was subsequently refloated by the tugs “Challenger|” and “Recovery” and taken into Swansea for repair.

1920 - On 9th May the 4,000-ton “Merkur”, a German prize, which had been allocated to Finland, leaving Barry with a cargo of coal, was in collision in Barry Roads, with the Spanish steamer Castro Alen from Bilbao. The Merkur immediately foundered and her crew were taken off by a pilot cutter. The Castro Alen was able to reach Newport. Salvage operations on the Merkur took some four months to reach a point where she could be raised from the sea bed, but on 19 September 1920 a thick fog prevented operations. Unfortunately, in the fog, the British steamer Zelo, on passage from Bilbao with iron ore, collided with the fo'csle head of the Merkur, tore a hole in her bottom, and sank alongside the remains of the Merkur. Salvage was then abandoned and the Merkur Buoy still marks the wreckage.

1920 – July 9th. Two local men observed a sailing vessel being driven ashore on Oxwich Point. Having seen a man on board, they scrambled across the rocks to assist, but as the man was preparing to jump over the side, the mast came down, killing him. It was later discovered that the man was Augustine O’ Shea, an Irishman, who had purchased the former Cardiff pilot skiff “Primrose”. His body was later recovered and is buried in Oxwich churchyard.

1922 - On 22nd January the “ Exeter City”, of Bristol, and the “London”, of Dundee, fouled one another whilst at anchor sustaining considerable damage in high seas, whilst the Sea Serpent, of Dover, was in danger of also becoming entangled. The Barry lifeboat (John Wesley) stood by whilst a pilot cutter went to get tugs which eventually removed the vessels from danger.

1923 - In April the Barry lifeboat (the new Prince David) was called out to search for the boat from the ship “Dunmail”, with eight men aboard. It was subsequently found that the men had been picked up by the steamship Thamesmead.

1923 - In September the yacht “ Dancingway”, with five men and two women aboard got a rope foul of her propeller and drifted close to the Gore Sands in Bridgwater Bay. The crew were saved by the Barry lifeboat.

1923 – October 27th. The Breton schooner “Raven”, having sailed from Swansea on October 19th and put back to the Mumbles for re-caulking, was making her way back to Swansea for further repairs when she ran aground at the harbour entrance. The Mumbles lifeboat, “Charlie Medland”, on what was her last trip across the bay, saved the crew of five as the vessels deck started to break up.

1924 – January 8th. Some residents at Pennard heard distress rockets at about 5a.m. and discovered the Belfast registered steamer “Fellside”, bound for Swansea with pitwood, hard ashore at Heatherslade. The crew abandoned in the ships two boats and twelve crew-members managed to get ashore in one boat. The other boat sank with the loss off one seaman. The vessel became a total loss and was scrapped.

1926 – March 3rd. The schooner “Harry Herbert” of Kinsale, bound for Liverpool with timber, was disabled and driven up channel by a strong gale. The vessel became stranded and was wrecked on the Lynch Bank. Her crew managed to get ashore and the wreckage was washed up on Burry Holms.

1926 - In July - The paddle steamer “Cambria”, went aground at Hele Bay near Ilfracombe in thick fog. All 500 passengers were rescued by the Ilfracombe Lifeboat (the Richard Crowley). The Cambria was successfully refloated on the next tide.

1926 - In August the Italian Steamer “Valesia” (6000 tons) was nearing Barry on a voyage from America with a cargo of coal (the South Wales Coalfield was on strike). There was a thick fog in the Bristol Channel and the ship came too close to Barry Island and grounded near Friars Point. The following morning the holidaymakers at Barry Island could see the remarkable sight of a large ship aground quite close to the beach. The crew had been able to get ashore without injury, but later the ship broke her back and started to fall apart. The cargo was gradually removed (not all officially - there was a coal strike on !).It took two months before the salvage company could finally remove the remains of the Valesia from the island.

1926 – The steamship “Cranstone”, Liverpool from Hamburg with lignite, had discovered the cargo to be on fire while abeam of the Isle of Wight and after many hours of fighting the fire, it was decided to run for Swansea. The vessel arrived off the Mumbles with her sides glowing from the heat and huge flames rising from the fore-hold. The tugs “Herculaneum”, “Mumbles” and “Trusty” beached the vessel and got to work extinguishing the fire. The remains of the cargo were later discharged and the vessel refloated.

1927 – December 6th. The Mumbles ketch “Gloria” was fishing in Carmarthen Bay when a gale blew up and the Master sought shelter at Rhossili. The vessel was swamped and sank at her anchors. The crew got ashore safely with the assistance of the local auxiliary coastguard.

1929 - On 25th January the “Lily” (Captain Tom Berridge), a 33-ton Severn Trow, left Newport, Mon. with 30 tons of coal for Wick St.Lawrence, Somerset. The vessel quickly sprung a leak, but because of the tide the boat could not return to Newport so the Captain and his one crew member, Jack Hunter, manned the pumps continuously in the hope that they would make it to the Somerset coast before the boat sunk ! Unfortunately they were unable to prevent the boat continuing to ship water and eventually the helm was affected leaving the boat unsteerable. As a result they were carried along on the tide, luckily missing the rocks off Flat Holm, and arrived in the Barry Roads, only to find the tide turning and carrying them back towards Newport. It was decided to drop anchor and hope that they would be seen by a passing ship. They then concentrated their efforts on pumping, but Captain Berridge (then near 68 years old) collapsed. He was revived by Jack Hunter but the boat was slowly sinking, when by chance a Newport Pilot Cutter, the Nancy, saw them and attempted to tow them to Port, but the Lily broke up under the strain of the tow line, and the two crew members swam to the Nancy.

1929 - March - The Greek steamship “Maria Kyriakides”, went aground near Lundy but all 18 crew were saved and the ship was re-floated 18 months later.

1929 –October 31st. The Swansea trawler “Carew Castle” was returning from the fishing grounds when she entered a fog bank and ran ashore near Culver Hole, west of Porteynon Point. The vessel was badly holed and the engine room flooded. A sister vessel, the “Radnor Castle”, also returning to Swansea, stood by and with a falling tided the crew of eleven were able to walk ashore. The trawler was a total loss.

1929 - On 1st November in a thick fog seven vessels became stranded in the River Avon, the four major ones were the Bristol City, the Sappho, the Peursam and the New York City. Fortunately no lives were lost from any of the ships concerned.

1931 – February 25th. The tug “Mumbles”, owned by the British Tanker Co., was returning to Swansea after assisting the disabled “British Motorist”, when, during thick fog and heavy rain, she ran aground west of Oxwich Point. The crew safely abandoned ship. Despite attempts by the Swansea tug “Herculaneum” to refloat her, the vessel broke up.

1933 – December 18th. The steamship “Ben Blanche” of Ramsey I.O.M., bound from Dundrum to Swansea with potatoes, struck the rocks below Paviland caves during very thick weather. The Mumbles lifeboat “Edward Prince of Wales” was launched at 0215h and reached the vessel at 0515h to find her submerged. A search of the coast by the lifeboat resulted in the crew of seven being rescued from their boats. The vessel was a total loss.

1934 - On 26th March two Greek steamships, the “ Doris” and the “Tsiropinas” were in collision off the Breaksea Light. The “Tsiropinas” was badly holed above and below the water line. The Barry lifeboat went to the scene and the cox advised that the she should be beached as soon as possible. The Bristol steam pilot cutter Queen Mother, also in attendance, put a pilot and some apprentices aboard and took the “Tsiropinas” to Whitmore Bay, Barry, where she was beached on the level sands. At low tide a temporary repair was affected and she could be towed to Barry Dock for permanent repair.

1934 - On October 21st the MV “Actuosity”, went ashore at Colhugh Point between Aberthaw and Llantwit Major. Her engine room and fore hold were flooded. With the fall of the tide, however, she was refloated and a massive salvage operation began, which lasted until December of that year.

1935 - On 8th April the Belgian ship “ Suzan”, went ashore at Breaksea Point near Barry. Fortunately she was pulled clear by the tugs Eagle and Wardleys.

1935 - On 17th September the French schooner “ Goeland”, was driven across Swansea Bay on a voyage from Roscoff to Swansea and the Master (Captain Yves Kerbel) decided to try to make port at Cardiff rather than turn into the storm and head for Swansea. Unfortunately the ship took a severe battering which broke the boom, smashed the steering wheel and injured the captain. He tried to steer to the beach at Porthkerry but was unable to do so and was being propelled before the gale. His distress signals were seen by a farmer at Rhoose and the Coastguard sent a message to the Barry Lifeboat (Prince David). The Barry cox was not at home but Mr Archibald.C.Jones a retired dock pilot and secretary of the Lifeboat Station obtained a crew and took the lifeboat out himself. He headed to Friars Point off Barry Island for which the Goeland was now heading before the wind in a terrible state, with no masts or rigging and almost on her beam ends. One of the crew of the Goeland had already gone into the water trying to escape falling debris and the lifeboat had to pick him up first. She then managed to get alongside the ship and the captain and the remaining crew of four including a boy of 12 and one of 14, slid down the side of the ship into the lifeboat. The lifeboat crew, Henry Hobbs, Hewitt Swarts, Stanley Alexander, Thomas Alexander, William Cook, Henry Housdon and Frederick Searle, were all awarded bronze medals by the RNLI. The acting cox Mr A.C.Jones receiving a silver medal. The French government also awarded Mr Jones and the lifeboat crew as well as Mr Jenkin Lougher the Rhoose farmer who initially raised the alarm, the medailles de sauvetage.

1937 – January 10th. Burnham Radio received a message from the Swansea trawler “Roche Castle”, reporting that she was aground “about ten miles west of Mumbles”. The vessel belonged to Consolidated Fisheries and was returning to her home port to land her catch. The Mumbles lifeboat was launched and search parties were organised along the coast. Two other Consolidated Fisheries vessels, the “Powis Castle” and the “Grosmont Castle” were in attendance but their ailing sister was too close inshore for them to be of any assistance. The Master was hopeful that the vessel could be refloated on the next flood tide. When the tide rose the vessel heeled towards the shore and was being swept by heavy seas. A Breeches Buoy had been rigged earlier and two men got into the buoy and as it was being hauled ashore, the hawser became slack owing to the vessel working in the sea, and quickly became taut again, throwing one of the men into the sea where he drowned. In less than an hour the Master, the Mate (who was the Masters brother” and eight remaining crew members were rescued. 1938 - On 15th January the 4,345-ton Greek vessel “ George J Goulandris”, with a crew of 28, having left Cardiff in ballast for Spain, became out of control when something went wrong with her engines during a severe gale off Lynmouth Foreland, Devon. She was driven across the Channel toward Nash Point. She radioed an SOS and the Barry lifeboat (Rachel and Mary Evans) was sent to her assistance. The ship was by this time off Breaksea Point and broadside to the waves. The lifeboat made three attempts to get a rope aboard in an effort to pull the ship round to face in the direction of Barry, and at the third attempt, was successful. The lifeboat then commenced the task of towing the ship to Barry. This difficult task was, fortunately, eased when the wind dropped, and the ship eventually reached Barry Roads where tugs took her to Barry Docks for repair.

1938 – January 16th. After the appalling weather of the previous day, two bodies and a ships boat were washed ashore on Rhossili beach. They were crew members of the Swansea steamship “Glanrhyd”, Newport for Manchester with coal duff. During the next few days a further six bodies were washed ashore between Slade and Whitford. An inquiry into the vessels loss concluded that exceptionally large seas, possibly in the vicinity of the Helwick lightship, had probably overwhelmed her.

1938 - On 12th August the steamship “ Norman Queen”, ran ashore on Flat Holm but refloated.

1938 - On 4th October the “Eldonpark”, was drifting toward Nash Point with engine failure when the engineers managed to get them working again in the nick of time and she was able to make Cardiff.

1938 - On 27th November the Breton schooner “ Ideal”, was wrecked near Aberthaw on passage from Swansea for Dahouet. She had lost her bow-sprit and head-sails off Bull Point, Devon, and been driven up Channel toward the Welsh coast going aground on the beach off Colhugh Point. The Llantwit Major rocket apparatus arrived in time to save three of the crew, one scrambled ashore but another was drowned.

1939 – October. The “Lochgoil” , Vancouver from Newport, and the “Marwarri”, Belfast to Newport, were both damaged by mines and beached at the Mumbles for repairs. The “Lochgoil” was renamed “Empire Rowan” in 1940 and was sunk in March 1943 by an aircraft torpedo off the Algerian coast. The “Mawarri” was repaired and served as a transport vessel in the D. Day landings and survived the war without further incident

1940 - On 21st January the Alfred Holt vessel “ Protesilaus”, of Liverpool, from her home port to Barry in ballast, hit a mine six miles W.S.W. of Mumbles Head .Twenty of the crew of sixty were injured in the explosion of a magazine. A naval patrol vessel took off 53 people and the Mumbles Lifeboat the remaining 22. The vessel was later beached at Oystermouth but broke in two. Some months later the fore part was towed to Briton Ferry and later to Scapa Flow for use as a blockship. She developed a serious leak en route and was sunk by gunfire.

1940 - On 7th February the Greenock steamship “Eldonpark” went aground near Port Eynon in a strong wind and severe rain, which made visibility poor. The ship was holed and submerged except for her wheelhouse where all 37 crew were sheltering. The Mumbles Lifeboat went to her but was unable to attempt a rescue in the prevailing conditions so stood by for four hours until the tide ebbed when all the crew were removed to safety. The ship became a total loss and her remains can still be seen. The Cox of the Mumbles Lifeboat, W.E.Davies was awarded the formal Thanks of the RNLI inscribed on vellum.

1940 - On 16th March the Yugoslav ship “ Slava”, was torpedoed off Lynmouth, Devon. Survivors were rescued by another ship.

1940 - On 28th May the banana ship “Carare” caught fire and sunk after an explosion in the Channel. The Minehead, Lynmouth, Ilfracombe and Barry lifeboats went in search of survivors but a naval patrol boat found the crew first and rescued them.

1940 – November 12th. The Mumbles lifeboat was returning to from an unsuccessful call to a vessel ashore at Ogmore in near hurricane force winds. The coastguard signalled the lifeboat to proceed to another casualty at Overton and after battling against mountainous seas for another hour they were told the crew had been rescued from ashore by the local constable and coastguard. The vessel was the Dutch salvage tug “Wittezee”, Falmouth to Lamlash on naval duties. The Master was rescued from the surf and the remaining crew members were told to remain aboard until the ebb. The tug was a total loss and later sold for scrap. The tugs Master presented the tug’s wheel to the landlord of the Ship Inn who had fed and clothed them after the rescue.

1940 – October 26th. The Norwegian whale factory ship “Strombus”, Swansea to the Antarctic with coal, struck a mine two miles east of the Mumbles Head, All forty crew members were saved but the vessel broke in two. The stern section capsized and sank but the fore section was beached and two years later was towed to Briton Ferry for breaking up.

1940 - On 6th December the “ South Coaster”, of London, bound for Cardiff in ballast got into difficulties near the Breaksea Lightship. The Barry lifeboat (Rachel and Mary Evans) was launched with only five hands aboard. The master of the distressed ship did not want to abandon ship but asked for a tug. The lifeboat ordered up a tug which set out but was forced back by the seas despite two attempts to reach the ship. The cox of the lifeboat again advised the master to abandon ship and this time he agreed. The lifeboat managed on its first attempt to take off one man. On the second attempt the other 9 crew managed to get into the lifeboat. The lifeboat cox, David Lewis, was awarded the RNLI bronze medal and the mechanic, George Allin, the formal Thanks of the RNLI.

1941 - On 20th January the Liverpool owned “ Cornish Rose”, dragged her anchors in a severe gale off Swansea and was very close to the shore. The Captain of the ship was about to launch the ship's boat when the Mumbles Lifeboat arrived and the Cox, William Gammon, took the lifeboat alongside in very difficult conditions and all crew were saved. Cox Gammon and Mechanic Robert Williams were both awarded the Bronze Medal of the RNLI.

1941 – February 20th. The steamship “Fort Medine”, Wabana (Newfoundland), to Port Talbot with 7.000t of iron ore hit a mine and sank about a mile east of Mumbles Head. The forty six crew members were taken off by the pilot cutter. Eight days later the M.V. “Cabenda”, Shoreham to Briton Ferry with scrap, also hit a mine and sank east of Mumbles with the loss of one crew member.

1941 – March 21st. The “London II”, Manchester to Cardiff with steel billets and scrap, was bombed by German aircraft a few miles south-west of the Helwick Lightship. Four of the crew of eighteen were killed and the vessel was abandoned on fire. She drifted up the coast and eventually sank six miles southwest of Mumbles Head. On the same day the “Millisle”, Cardiff to Cork with coal was bombed and sank two miles east of the Helwick lightvessel. Nine crew members and the gunner were killed.

1942 - October- Dutch motor cruiser “Atlas”, stranded near Lundy. Only the mate survived out of a crew of nine.

1944 - On 11th October the Royal Canadian Navy frigate “Cheboque”, which had been torpedoed in the Atlantic, was towed to Mumbles Roads where she anchored awaiting docking at Swansea. A strong gale blew up that night and the frigate began to drag her anchors. Her stern grounded on the bar off Port Talbot and a large part of the ship was under water. The Mumbles Lifeboat arrived and the Captain of the frigate asked for the 42 crew to be taken off. It was impossible to take off the crew by the normal methods so Cox William Gammon decided that the only way was to take the lifeboat through the surf, past the frigate, and then turn into the gale and get close enough for the crew to jump into the lifeboat. This had to be accomplished more than 10 times as the lifeboat could only stay alongside for a few seconds each time and only two or three men could jump on each occasion. The rescue took an hour and a half to accomplish and all 42 crew were saved, though one broke a leg, one fell into the water between the lifeboat and the frigate and had to be pulled out very swiftly before he was crushed when the two craft came together. One of the crew fell on top of Cox Gammon and caused him serious bruising !Cox Gammon was awarded the RNLI Gold Medal, Mechanic William Davies received the Bronze Medal, as did Bowman Thomas Ace. The remaining crew members received the formal Thanks on vellum of the RNLI. Amongst the crew were two men over 70 years of age and two over 60.

1946 - On 9th February the Glasgow ship “Coulgorm”, stranded on Cardiff Grounds but was able to refloat.

1946 –December 1st. The American tanker “Tillamook”, Swansea for Abadan in ballast, ran aground near Sker Point in a violent storm. The Mumbles lifeboat, coastguard and the Porthcawl Rocket Apparatus team were all in attendance but the Master decided it was safer for the crew to remain on board.. The conditions the following day prevented tugs from Swansea reaching the vessel, but one Swansea tug, the “Majestic”, owned by the Britannia Steam Towing Co., did get close enough to get a line aboard. The heavy seas that were now running soon caused the line to part. By December 4th, conditions had improved enough for six Swansea tugs and the Dutch ocean going tug “Zwarte Zee” to attempt to refloat the vessel. After five hours, in very difficult conditions, their combined efforts proved fruitless. The “Tillamook” was eventually refloated on February 6th 1947 and towed into Swansea docks by the salvage tug “Twyford” and tugs belonging to the Alexandra Towing Company. The vessel left Swansea for the United States, minus her rudder, under tow of the American tug “Farallon” on May 21st 1947.

1947 - On 23rd April the British ship “Samtampa” (an ex Liberty ship, 7000 tons) (Captain Sherwell) bound from Middlesborough to Newport developed engine trouble in Swansea Bay and dropped anchor whilst the problem was sorted out. Later that afternoon the anchor cables parted and the ship drifted eastward before a very strong wind towards Nash Shoal. A distress message was sent and the Mumbles Lifeboat (Edward, Prince of Wales) was launched under cox William Gammon. At the first attempt the lifeboat did not find the ship and returned home where the exact position of the Samtampa was given. The lifeboat set out again and was last seen heading across Swansea Bay toward the South East. At about the same time as the lifeboat went out the Samtampa went aground off Sker Point near Porthcawl and began to break up. Attempts by Porthcawl Life Saving Company to get a line aboard with their rockets were thwarted by the severe weather conditions, but next morning after the weather had improved the police managed to get aboard the wreck, now broken into three pieces, but none of the crew of 31 had survived. The Mumbles Lifeboat never made it to the ship. It was found capsized about 450 yards from her, and all eight crew had been lost. The crew of the Samtampa were buried in Porthcawl cemetery and the lifeboat crew at Mumbles churchyard. The replacement lifeboat was named William Gammon in memory of the drowned cox of its predecessor.

1949 - On 13th November, the Spanish steamer “Monte Gurugu”, (Captain Luis Numalrz) on a voyage from Newport, Mon. to Bilbao, Spain, with coal, on approaching Hartland Point, Devon was hit by a series of severe waves which broke her rudder adrift, and the ship started to leak severely. An SOS was sent and then the order to Abandon Ship was given. The ship's two boats were lowered but one was severely damaged in the process and the 12 men on board thrown into the sea. Two crew members also managed to get into a dinghy, but the Captain, being the last to leave had to jump into the sea, where he was picked up by the ship's lifeboat. Quickly after the ship was abandoned one of her boilers blew up and she broke in two and sank. The SOS sent by the ship was picked up by a tanker, the Lady Frederica, but she was unable to assist without putting her crew in danger, and by the Coastguards who alerted the Appledore, Clovelly and Ilfracombe Lifeboat Stations. The Clovelly Lifeboat, the William Cantrell Ashley, went out in search of survivors near Hartland Point, but the wreck had taken place further away, The Appledore Lifeboat, Violet Armstrong, found five bodies and the remains of the ship's boat which had been damaged during launch, the they found one man only just alive and headed for Ilfracombe to enable him to receive urgent medical attention. The Ilfracombe Lifeboat, Richard Silver Oliver, under cox Cecil Irwin, was launched despite very severe weather conditions and headed for Woolacombe Bay in the hope of picking up any boat that was driven that way by the weather. They did indeed find the remaining ship's boat full of survivors in great difficulties. A grapnel was eventually secured and the boat towed into deeper water in order to get the survivors aboard the Ilfracombe Lifeboat. Twenty-three crew were saved. The dinghy, which had carried the radio operator and another man was washed up on Woolacombe Sands, and the radioman survived but the other man died. The Ilfracombe Lifeboat went out again to search for more survivors but none were found. Despite a further search the next day by the Lifeboats and aircraft from RAF Chivenor the remaining six men were never found. The Spanish Lifeboat Society awarded its Silver Medal to each of the three coxes and all lifeboat crewmembers were awarded a diploma. All awards were presented at a ceremony on Ilfracombe Pier on 30 June 1950. The coxes of the Appledore and Ilfracombe boats also received a bronze and silver medal respectively from the RNLI.

1953 - On 24th August the English & Welsh Grounds Lightvessel sprung a leak in a severe gale and heavy seas. The Barry lifeboat went out to her and stood by until the Trinity House tender, Vestal, arrived from her Swansea base.

1954 - On 10th November the Trinity House vessel “Alert” reported the sand dredger “ Bowstar”, of Cardiff, was in difficulties near Steep Holm. The Barry lifeboat went to her aid but the master decided not to abandon ship but to try to get to Newport by going slowly astern, but requested the lifeboat to accompany him in case of need. The dredger made it back to the River Usk.

1957 – June 28th. The destroyer “Cleveland” was being towed by the “Brynforth”, a tug belonging to the Britannia Steam Towing Co., from Cardiff to the breakers yard at Llanelli. The tow parted and the destroyer ended up at Diles Lake, a stream running onto Llangennith , near Rhossili. Numerous efforts to refloat the vessel on spring tides failed and the vessel was eventually scrapped where she lay.

1960 - On 18th June another dredger, the “Ron Woolaway”, of Barnstaple, only in service for one week, capsized near Flat Holm. The crew of seven swam ashore at Flat Holm and were taken to Barry by the lifeboat. A sister ship, the Stan Woolaway, connected a hawser to the upturned dredger and later Cardiff tugs towed her to Penarth where she was eventually uprighted and repaired.

1962 - On 8th January the coastal motor tanker “Candourity”, of London, had engine trouble off Breaksea Point in severe weather. A tug eventually got a hawser to her and towed her to Barry Roads.

1962 - On 25th January the Dutch motor vessel “Carmen”, of Groningen, stranded on Sully Island but was refloated the following day and towed to Cardiff by the tug Emphatic, escorted by the Barry lifeboat.

1962 the “Green Ranger”, a 3000 ton Fleet Auxiliary tanker being towed to Cardiff by the tug Caswell for a refit became detached from the tug when the cable parted in heavy seas. She had only a skeleton crew of seven aboard and was driven towards Hartland. An RAF helicopter from Chivenor was unable to rescue the crew because of the severe winds, Hartland Lifesaving Company could not get a line to her by rocket in the wind, and the Clovelly Lifeboat was unable to reach her in the heavy seas, but Appledore Lifeboat (Louisa Anne Hawker) under cox Sydney Camm did get to her but found no sign of the crew. Later it was found that the crew had been rescued from the shore. Three volunteers from the Hartland Lifesaving Company had climbed down the cliff face in terrible conditions in order to be able to get close enough to the ship to get a rocket on board. This they did and the crew were hauled to safety by line. The Hartland Lifesaving Company were awarded the Wreck Service Shield for their bravery. Cox Camm of the Appledore Lifeboat received the RNLI Silver Medal and the lifeboat crew received the thanks of the RNLI on vellum.

1965 – May. The Swansea fishing vessel “Allegiance” was fishing south of Caldey Island when an electrical fault caused a fire on board. After ninety minutes spent fighting the blaze the trawler was abandoned and the four-crew members were picked up by the Swedish ore carrier “Saggat” and later transferred to the Tenby lifeboat. The Swansea tug “Sloyne” was despatched to the scene and the crew managed to extinguish the fire using hoses and towed the stricken trawler into Swansea Docks. During the tow up channel the fishing vessel’s fuel tanks exploded sending flames thirty feet in the air.

1981 - On 3rd August the motor vessel “Prince Ivanhoe” (Captain David Neill) was on one of its regular pleasure trips in the Bristol Channel from Penarth, Glamorgan to Minehead, Somerset and then to Mumbles and the Gower coast, Glamorgan. Just as the boat turned into Port Eynon Bay, Gower, there was a loud report and the captain realised that the boat had been holed, but he did not realise how badly. Passengers were advised to put on lifebelts and go to the muster stations as a precaution, although there was no great danger. He sent an SOS message which was heard by the Coastguard Station at Mumbles, who alerted the RAF Air-Sea Rescue helicopters and the lifeboat stations at Horton and Mumbles. Meantime the captain had found that the boat was taking on water at an alarming rate and he decided that the best course of action would be to beach her. He brought her very carefully inshore and grounded her on the sands about 100 yards from the beach. In a perfectly organised rescue the Horton and Port Eynon lifeboats took off the 450 passengers, women and children first. Unfortunately, two passengers suffered heart attacks and one of them died. Then the Mumbles Lifeboat arrived and took off the ship's instruments, stores and the crew. Letters of appreciation were sent by the RNLI to the coxes of the Horton & Mumbles lifeboats. The cause of the wreck was never finally decided and it took three years for the remains of the boat to be removed from the sands.

1983 – September 2nd. During a south-westerly gale, the salvage vessels “Tom Jay” and “Seawork Samson”, which were both involved in breaking up the wreck of the “Prince Ivanhoe”, were driven from their moorings. They ended up ashore between Horton and Slade. The vessels were later refloated when the weather moderated.


There are thousands of shipwrecks scattered around the coast of the United Kingdom. The whereabouts and circumstances of these wrecks is readily available for those with the wherewithal to research these vessels. Obviously, some of the vessels mentioned in this chronology, will have been mentioned in other publications and this is purely coincidental. The information in this chronology has been obtained from numerous sources, over many hours of painstaking research and is designed to be a quick reference guide and nothing else.

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