Tale of brave rescue

Fleetwood Museum
Fleetwood Museum

A SEA rescue 150 years ago is being commemorated at Fleetwood Museum.

During severe gales on October 27 1862, the entire crew of the sailing barque Pudyona were rescued in Morecambe Bay, just 150 yards from Wyre Light.

They were rescued by Captain William Swarbrick, and the crew of the steam-tug Wyre from Fleetwood, following the loss of the Fleetwood Lifeboat five days earlier.

To mark the occasion a display has been created in the RNLI section of Fleetwood Museum to outline the story of the rescue.

And on Thursday October 4, Fleetwood Historical Society will present a talk entitled ‘The Great Gales in the 19th Century’ at Fleetwood Library.

Dr Stephen Musgrave, who is a former second coxswain of Fleetwood Lifeboat, and a descendent of William Swarbrick will present the talk.

He said: “The talk gives account of four incidents including the loss of Fleetwood Lifeboat, showing illustrations of the incident specially drawn by local artist Ron Baxter.”

Pudyona was a local vessel from Lancaster heading to Glasson Dock with timber from Quebec.

The vessel had already diverted once to Holyhead because of bad weather but the weather was fine when she left again on the evening of October 26 in tow by the Liverpool steam tug ‘Teazer’.

The weather deteriorated as Pudyona approached Morecambe Bay and due to poor visibility they missed the navigation marks. Soon after, the vessel struck the seabed with such force that she was dismasted and the tow between her and Teazer parted.

The crew were abandoned and high seas began to bash the stricken Pudyona putting it at risk of breaking up.

The steam tug Wyre was already in the bay and saw the drama unfold.

They found the crew still on board and in treacherous conditions, the tug went in close and managed to safely rescue all the sailors.or the brave rescue Captain William Swarbrick and pilot Robert Gerrard were awarded the RNLI silver medals.

The talk starts at 7pm at Fleetwood Library.