The Eendracht aground in Seaford Bay by mikebov

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The Eendracht aground in Seaford Bay by 

21/10/98 08:40 Rain, poor vis SSW f 7-8 Rough

Large sailing vessel stranded in adverse weather
The Dutch sail training vessel “Eendracht” sailed from Newhaven at 08:30 but shortly after dropping the Pilot onto the pilot boat the vessel bumped the sand bank to the east of the harbour. A distress call to Solent CG prompted them to request the launch of Newhaven lifeboat and the tug “Meeching” as well as Coastguard Rescue Helicopter “India Juliet”. The lifeboat was first on scene at 08:50 to find the three masted 60m vessel bumping the bottom and listing to port. The captain requested that the 51 PoB be evacuated. The lifeboat was taken inside the vessel and three attempts were made to come alongside and on the last occasion the lifeboat sustained damage to the bow section when the schooner rolled on to the lifeboat. With the imminent arrival of “India Juliet” it was decided better to evacuate the persons by helo.
By this time the “Meeching” was on scene and their crew managed to get a line aboard the “Eendracht” but in the heavy seas with the schooner well aground this parted. As the tug herself was hitting the bottom the lifeboat was used to take a line from the tug and backed in to the schooner to pass it aboard but this line too parted. Whilst the helo continued to airlift the casualties the lifeboat and tug, working together in shallow water and heavy breaking seas, managed to connect further tows but the lines parted three times.

By 12:20 all persons had been safely airlifted to the beach by the helo and at 12:43 when the last tow parted the lifeboat left the scene and the vessel was left to be driven further ashore. When the lifeboat returned to harbour crew member Andrew MacQueen was taken to hospital for x-ray as he had sustained a blow against the after rails. It was discovered he had suffered 3 cracked ribs.

The RNLI’s Chief of Operations later sent a “Letter of Thanks” to Coxswain/Mechanic Mike Beach and his crew for their seamanship, teamwork and professionalism during this service. He also sent a “Letter of Thanks” to Bob Domin, skipper of the tug “Meeching” congratulating him on his excellent seamanship and boat-handling skills during the attempts to pull the schooner clear
(from Newhaven Lifeboat historical archives)

I went down to Seaford the following morning to get a few photos.
I only had a cheap old Kodak point and shoot 35mm at the time.
This is a scanned copy from a 6×4 print.
By giving it an old photo treatment in PS Elements it has produced quite an atmospheric image.

Seaford Bay

Kodak 35mm point & shoot


eendracht, training ship, sailing ship, seaford bay, extreme weather, sepia


  • DonDavisUK
    DonDavisUKabout 3 years ago

    A great capture Mike and a wonderful story too.
    God bless the RNLI and the Tugs… A FAV mate. Don.

  • thanks Don

    – mikebov

  • SandraRos
    SandraRosabout 3 years ago

    Extremely great capture and the post processing tells the story of the drama around the vessel. Great image Mike !!

  • thanks Sandra

    – mikebov

  • Martina Fagan
    Martina Faganabout 3 years ago

    great shot and story

  • thanks Tina

    – mikebov

  • John44
    John44about 3 years ago

    What a Story
    Thanks Mike mate ..
    as a Dutchman I am sooooo surprised to read all this .. since I knew a few of the Crew..
    ones had a little trip about ???15 years ago Dutch Waters

    De Eendracht (unity) is Hollands pride

    Anyway I am going to Google this and thanks again Mike

    warm friendship greeting

  • The great thing was everyone was safely air lifted off and the this fine ship was safely refloated

    – mikebov

  • Lois  Bryan
    Lois Bryanabout 3 years ago

    oh WOW … very atmospheric and beautiful indeed!!!! But I’m guessing the pilot was in hot water … looks like that boy should have stayed aboard and steered them out a little further???

  • I do believe the ship’s captain had been advised against leaving port that morning .

    – mikebov

  • Roy  Massicks
    Roy Massicksabout 3 years ago

    That is a very dramatic picture Mike – great write-up too !

  • thanks Roy
    This photo had been sitting in a box for several years.
    Rather pleased to have re discovered it

    – mikebov

  • Kornrawiee
    Kornrawieeabout 3 years ago

    “Thinking too well of people often allows them to be better than they otherwise would be."
    Nelson Mandela said and I believe that:)

    Wonderful composition make the splendid artwork, thank you to inspire…
    Best regards,

  • thank you Sunny

    – mikebov

  • Roger Mann
    Roger Mannabout 3 years ago

    A testament to bravery and fortitude. Your treatment of this image imparts the sadness of the outcome, certainly for the boat. A superb image.

  • Thanks Roger.
    The main thing was that the crew & passengers were all safely air lifted off.
    The ship was safely re floated, so no real harm was done, just an interesting & dramatic day in history

    – mikebov

  • AngieDavies
    AngieDaviesabout 3 years ago

    Congrats on your feature with this magnificent capture!

  • thanks Angie

    – mikebov

  • Vicki Spindler (VHS Photography)
    Vicki Spindler...almost 3 years ago

    Awesome image!! :)))))))))))))))))))))))))))

  • many thanks

    – mikebov

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