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26 July 2014
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COAST
St Abbs lifeboat station
St Abbs Harbour
St Abbs may seem like a natural place for a lifeboat to be stationed - a busy fishing port with treacherous rocks offshore, and with neighbouring Eyemouth having suffered a massive loss due to storms offshore, yet it was to take until a tragic event in 1907 to bring what many would see as an essential to the village.

There was a storm raging the night of October 17th 1907, and most of those in St Abbs had battened down the hatches of their homes. However, out at sea a drama was about to unfold involving 16 unfortunate seaman who were not so lucky as to be able to avoid the ravages of the weather.

The Danish cargo vessel, Alfred Erlandsen had set sail a few days previously from Libau, headed for Grangemouth with a cargo of pit props, most likely for the Stirlingshire coalfields. However, while only a short distance from the shore she ran into difficulties in what was a grim night, running onto the Ebbs Carr rocks.

St Abbs harbour
St Abbs harbour

As the stricken vessel sounded her horn, the villagers left their homes and rushed to the harbour to hear the cries from the sailors through the dense fog. Lifeboats set sail from Eyemouth and distant Dunbar, and rocket-firing equipment was brought by horse from Eyemouth, but, despite the best efforts of the rescuers the situation was hopeless and the lifeboats returned dodging the pitprops which threatened to sink them in the rough seas.

St Abbs mourned the unknown sailors who had lost their lives on the rocks, but on the following day, one survivor from the Alfred Erlandsen was found - a great dane was found wandering the cliffs shivering and starving. He dog, named Corra after the rocks on which its ship had met its doom, became a local celebrity, and, during the First World War, was paraded throughout the area with the tale of its survival told in a bid to raise money for the war effort.

 Directions: The coastal path ends at some houses, follow the road here and head downhill to the harbour.
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