Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Longhope lifeboat tragedy 03/17/1969

BBC News remembers the lifeboat TGB of Longhope, Scotland that was capsized on 17 March, 1969, after setting out from Hoy in Orkney, to help a tanker adrift in a fierce storm:

On the night of the tragedy, the Liberian-registered Irene had sent out a mayday reporting it was in trouble.

A Force 9 gale, coupled with a spring tide, led to waves 60ft high.

The TGB, a 47ft Watson-class lifeboat constructed of wood, went to its aid in conditions of near-zero visibility.

Radio contact was later lost. The lifeboat is believed to have been overturned by a freak wave, possibly 100ft (30.5m) high.

When the boat was recovered, the bodies of all but one of the crew were inside the hull. The coxwain was still at the helm.

The tragedy led to the redevelopment of self-righting lifeboats, now all lifeboats are self-righting by design. There's a bronze memorial unveiled by the Queen Mother to commemorate the eight brave people of TGB lifeboat. On the other hand,
It later emerged the Irene was closer to shore than initially reported, and its crew were brought ashore safely.
Life does have unwitting twists at times -- all because of a 100 ft high freaque wave!

1 comment:

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Amazing, it's very interesting when you read ancient documents because you almost can feel that moment or what the writer was feeling on that moment.