Friday, 25 October 2013

Memorial for 60th anniversary of Arbroath's lifeboat disaster

One of the darkest days in Arbroath’s history is set to be remembered next weekend on the 60th anniversary of the town’s lifeboat disaster.

Next Sunday (October 27) will mark the milestone, which saw six brave crew members lose their lives as the Robert Lindsay attempted to re-enter the harbour.

At around 6 a.m. on a dark, cold, wet and stormy morning, and after going to the rescue of a vessel in distress, the lifeboat was sideswiped by a huge wave and cruelly flung on the rocky foreshore at Inchcape Park.

As daylight slowly broke, the boat could be seen upturned on the rocks as the magnitude of the disaster began to sink in.

Those who died in the tragedy were coxswain David Bruce, Harry Swankie, mechanic; Thomas Adams, bowman; as well as William Swankie, and brothers David Cargill and Charles Cargill.

The only crewman to survive the disaster was Archie Smith who caught a line fired in the direction of voices crying for help. And in the weeks that followed hundreds of local people lined the streets to pay their respects to the brave crew as their funerals took place.

To commemorate those lost, the local RNLI crew are planning a memorial service and possible wreath laying ceremony next Sunday.

Organisation is still in the planning stages but more details about the arrangements will be released next week.

The anniversary of the disaster comes after the news last year that the boat, the Robert Lindsay was in the process of being restored by a pair of Norfolk boatbuilders to bring it back to RNLI standard.

Friday 25 October 2013


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