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Heroes of the Goodwin Sands   By:

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First Page:

HEROES OF THE GOODWIN SANDS

by

THE REV. THOMAS STANLEY TREANOR, M.A.

Chaplain, Missions to Seamen, Deal and the Downs

Author of "The Log of a Sky Pilot," "The Cry from the Sea and the Answer from the Shore."

With Coloured and Other Illustrations

[Frontispiece: A Perilous Escape]

[Illustration: Title page]

London The Religious Tract Society 4 Bouverie Street & 65 St. Paul's Churchyard 1904

PREFACE

For twenty six years, as Missions to Seamen Chaplain for the Downs, the writer of the following chapters has seen much of the Deal boatmen, both ashore and in their daily perilous life afloat. For twenty three years he has also been the Honorary Secretary of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution for the Goodwin Sands and Downs Branch; he has sometimes been afloat in the lifeboats at night and in storm, and he has come into official contact with the boatmen in their lifeboat work, in the three lifeboats stationed right opposite the Goodwin Sands, at Deal, Walmer, and Kingsdown. With these opportunities of observation, he has written accurate accounts of a few of the splendid rescues effected on those out lying and dangerous sands by the boatmen he knows so well.

Each case is authenticated by names and dates; the position of the wrecked vessel is given with exactness, and the handling and manoeuvring of the lifeboat described, from a sailor's point of view, with accuracy, even in details.

The descriptions of the sea of Nature in some of her most tremendous aspects, of the breakers on the Goodwins and of the stubborn courage of the men who man our lifeboats are far below the reality. Each incident occurred as it is related, and is absolutely true.

The Deal boatmen are almost as mute as the fishes of the sea respecting their own deeds of daring and of mercy on the Goodwin Sands. It is but justice to those humble heroes of the Kentish coast that an attempt should be made to tell some parts of their wondrous story.

T. S. T.

DEAL, 1904.

CONTENTS

CHAPTER

I. THE GOODWIN SANDS II. THE DEAL BOATMEN III. THE AUGUSTE HERMANN FRANCKE IV. THE GANGES V. THE EDINA VI. THE FREDRIK CARL VII. THE GOLDEN ISLAND VIII. THE SORRENTO, S.S. IX. THE ROYAL ARCH X. THE MANDALAY XI. THE LEDA XII. THE D'ARTAGNAN AND THE HEDVIG SOPHIA XIII. THE RAMSGATE LIFEBOAT

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

A PERILOUS RESCUE . . . . . . . . . Frontispiece

THE LAUNCH OF THE LIFEBOAT

THE GOODWIN SANDS

A WRECK ON THE GOODWINS

THE BOOM OF A DISTANT GUN

SHOWING A FLARE

HOOKING THE STEAMER

A FORLORN HOPE

POSITION OF THE GANGES ON THE SANDS

DANGEROUS WORK

THE ANCHOR OF DEATH ( from a photograph )

DEAL BOATMEN ON THE LOOK OUT FOR A HOTEL

THE WRECK OF THE GOLDEN ISLAND

CLOVE HITCH KNOTS

JARVIST ARNOLD

THE KINGSDOWN LIFEBOAT

SCENE ON DEAL BEACH, FEBRUARY 13, 1870

POSITION OF THE SORRENTO

THE SORRENTO ON THE GOODWIN SANDS

ALL HANDS IN THE LIFEBOAT

THE LIFEBOAT BRADFORD AT THE WRECK OF THE INDIAN CHIEF

LEAVING RAMSGATE HARBOUR IN TOW

[Illustration: The Launch of the Lifeboat. From a photograph by W. H. Franklin.]

CHAPTER I

THE GOODWIN SANDS

'Would'st thou,' so the helmsman answered, 'Learn the secrets of the sea? Only those who brave its dangers Comprehend its mystery.'

The Goodwin Sands are a great sandbank, eight miles long and about four miles wide, rising out of deep water four miles off Deal at their nearest point to the mainland. They run lengthwise from north to south, and their breadth is measured from east to west. Counting from the farthest points of shallow water around the Goodwins, their dimensions might be reckoned a little more, but the above is sufficiently accurate.

Between them and Deal lies thus a stretch of four miles of deep water, in which there is a great anchorage for shipping. This anchorage, of historic interest, is called the Downs possibly from the French les Dunes , or 'the Sands,' a derivation which, so far as I know, was first suggested by myself and is sheltered from the easterly gales to some extent by the Goodwins... Continue reading book >>




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