Photos of the rowed lifeboat rescue mission to the sailing barge Sepoy 80-odd years ago published by the EDP show the reality of what lifeboatmen had to cope with.
Notice the surf, and the terrified barge crew hanging on in the rigging.
I find these photos very sobering… and even more so is the thought that the Sepoy was only a few hundred yards from shore, unlike many such rescues. Those crews were very brave and very tough – and still are.
3 thoughts on “Sailing barge lifeboat rescue photos”
sobering indeed, the mizzen has gone, the topsail in ribbons, must have been terrifying for the crew clinging to the rigging in howling winds, no doubt the barge beneath them would have been bashing about. i read a great account some years ago about a bawley which sank in the thames in winter, and the crew clung (roped on) to the topmast for something like 20 hours before eventually being discovered and rescued
Gavin, This was my grandpapa, Captain Joseph Hempstead, the master and owner of the Sepoy. He is the top figure in the rigging, and the mate, J Stephenson, is the lower figure. They were in the rigging for over 24 hours, and so cold they feared they would not be able to hold on. But thanks to Henry Blogg and his crew of the RNLB HF Bailey they were rescued. Grandpapa was unharmed other than being affected by exposure to the elements. The mate was kept in hospital in Cromer, but soon recovered.
Thanks Tricia. You must be so grateful to Henry Blogg – as must many.