Brave Men of Wells
|Stormy seas - disaster in coastal waters
It is one of the worst lifeboat disasters in the history of the RNLI.
Saturday October 29 2005 marks the 125th anniversary of the Eliza Adams disaster
On that day in 1880, the Eliza Adams lifeboat was called out of Wells-Next the Sea in Norfolk in severe gales.
Firstly it was sent to help the Sharons Rose, saving seven crew, and then it was called to The Ocean Queen.
The Ocean Queen had been driven onto sands, but on reaching her, the lifeboat was unable to help and set sail to return to harbour.
|BRAVE MEN OF WELLS
It is 125 years since the capsize of the Wells Lifeboat Eliza Adams in 1880.
On 29 October 2005 11 roses, one for each crewman lost, will be laid from the current Wells Lifeboat Doris M Mann of Ampthill near the spot where the tragedy occurred.
There will also be a service at the Lifeboat Memorial near Wells Quay after this commemorative event.
In the evening of 29 October, there will be a re-enactment of the inquest into the disaster.
Members of the public are welcome to watch the launching of the lifeboat and to attend the memorial service. The evening re-enactment of the inquest will be for invited guests only.
Among those attending the commemoration will be families and descendants of those involved.
Wells Lifeboat Station wants to hear from anyone with a family connection to the disaster who they haven't been able to trace or contact to date.
Source: Wells Lifeboat
At this point a heavy sea broke over her and the lifeboat capsized.
Of the 13 crew, only two survived leaving ten widows and 27 fatherless children.
Ironically, the crew of the Ocean Queen survived the storm and walked safely ashore when the tide ebbed.
On the 125th Anniversary of Elisa Adams disaster, David Whiteley re-tells the story.
Wearing replica cork lifejackets and rowing an authentic period lifeboat brought specially from the South Coast, the present day crew of the Wells Lifeboat re-live that fateful day.
William Bell was one of the two crew who survived.
His great grandson Allen Frary is a member of the current lifeboat crew:
"It mustve been terrifying... but these were all experienced seamen. They had a job to do. Their job as lifeboat men was to save lives.
My great grandfather, as with the rest of them, wouldnt have thought about the consequences."
And 125 years later there's an emotional meeting between two men united by the disaster.
Geoff Perkins' great grandfather was one of the lifeboatmen who died after rescuing Peter Franks great grandfather from the Ocean Queen.
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