Article by Tom Hemming - Year 9
The Mary Stanford Tragedy
This year, the Year 9 Charity is the RNLI: the Royal National Lifeboat Institution and we are holding a cake sale in the main hall on Thursday 30th January- Make sure you come!
We are raising money in memory of a true story; a disaster that will always be remembered:
The Mary Stanford lifeboat tragedy was the largest single lifeboat disaster in the history of the RNLI.
It made front page news internationally as seventeen people, both men and women, the youngest only 17 years old, lost their lives. It happened like this:
On the 15th of November 1928, the Rye coastguard received a message saying that a Latvian vessel, the Alice of Riga, had collided with the larger German Smyrna and had sustained hull damage and lost its rudder 10 miles south east of Dungeness.
The Mary Stanford, Rye harbour’s lifeboat, a Liverpool Class Surf Boat, set off at 6:45am to the rescue, with its seventeen crew members rowing, and no motor or radio. They were never to return.
At 6:50am, the Rye coastguard received another message saying that the Smyrna had rescued the Alice, and no further assistance was needed. The recall signal for the lifeboat was fired three times. But with the south westerly gale, the Mary Stanford could not see the flares and the message was missed.
At 10:30am, a boy collecting driftwood witnessed the Mary Stanford capsizing and ran to get help.
But when help arrived it was all too late. Over the next two days the bodies once aboard the boat were washed onto the beach. Only two bodies were never found - one of them was John Head, the youngest victim at only 17.
Here is a list, in memorial of those who died:
So please, remember when donating to the RNLI, at the Year 9 Bake Sale on Thursday or any other event, those who laid down their lives at sea, and that by donating, others might live, and that you are helping to prevent something like the Mary Stanford tragedy from ever happening again.
YR 9 CHARITY BAKE SALE
THURSDAY 30TH JAN
Raising money for Year 9's charity, the RNLI.