Monday, 19 October 2009

Port Eynon Mumbles

May 1884 saw the first lifeboat at Port Eynon, ‘A Daughter’s Offering’, put to service.

By 1906, her 22 years of toil had seen her save 39 souls and she gracefully retired.

Her replacement, ‘Janet’, was not to be so lucky.

Her tragic story began on New Years Day 1916. ‘S.S. Dunvegan’, dragging her anchor in Oxwich Bay, was in danger of wrecking off Pennard Cliffs. Putting out through heavy seas and a gale the crew, together with the lifeboat from Mumbles, rowed out to offer their assistance, only to find it not required. Turning to head for home she was hit by a huge wave that capsized her. By design she self righted. One of the crew had managed to stay aboard while the remainder were thrown to the sea. One crew member never made it back aboard and was drowned. While the others scrambled aboard ‘Janet’ was caught broadside by another roller and went over again. Two more members of the crew were claimed by the storm. The crewmen aboard the Mumbles lifeboat passed by, but in the gale they were unaware of the unfolding tragedy. The ‘Janet’, now oar less, drifted with the wind. 30 hours after launching she arrived at Mumbles with the remnants of her crew suffering from exhaustion and exposure.

Following this tragedy, the RNLI closed the Port Eynon lifeboat station.

Copies of news articles on the Disaster can be seen on the wall of the fish and chip shop at the top of the beach.

Memorial in the graveyard of Port Eynon

Driving down into Port Eynon, you pass a church on the last bend towards the beach. It is very easy to miss the lifeboatman that looks outward from the graveyard.

By coincidence our trip today has the same start and end point as that of the tragic tale of 1916, Port Eynon along the coast, crossing Oxwich Bay to end at Mumbles lifeboat station.

Hywel, Adrian and Chris on Port Eynon beach

Horton across Port Eynon Bay

Heading out across Port Eynon Bay to Oxwich Point

Caswell Bay

Langland Bay

Mumbles Head Lighthouse

Mumbles lifeboat station


1 comment:

cherrylover said...

Sad story... well written, thank you for sharing...