Heroic sea rescue is remembered

LIFEBOAT volunteers have been remembering the 100th anniversary of a courageous rescue mission that saved the lives of 39 sailors.

And Hartlepool Royal National Lifeboat Institution crew laid a wreath at sea to honour the 19

who perished in the historic disaster.

The rescue of the sailors from the SS Clavering, a cargo ship that was caught in gales and heavy seas near the North Gare, has gone down in Hartlepool folklore.

Coxswains of the Hartlepool and Seaton Carew RNLI lifeboats were awarded bravery medals for their repeated efforts during the rescue, which took place over two days from January 31, 1907.

A wreath was laid yesterday close to the site of the tragedy to remember those who died.

Hartlepool RNLI coxswain Robbie Maiden told the Mail: “The Clavering is a legendary rescue which has gone down in lifeboating history in this area and it’s fitting that we remember it in this way.

“I really can’t imagine how my forebears coped in such atrocious conditions in open rowing boats and only very basic waterproofs.

“The hi-tech lifeboats and fantastic equipment the RNLI provides us with today makes the job easy in comparison.”

Local author Maureen Anderson has just written a book called Shipwrecks From The Tees To The Tyne, which details the Clavering rescue mission.

She said: “The efforts by the crew of the lifeboats to rescue the seamen from the stricken SS Clavering took human endurance to the utmost limits.

“In the records of this and other rescues performed in the most appalling conditions and using equipment that we now see as primitive, our forbears have left a legacy of a lesson in how people could work together in a common cause because of the value they put on human life.”