Heroes of the Goodwin Sands

Heroes of the Goodwin Sands

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Heroes of the Goodwin Sands by Thomas Stanley Treanor

Published:

1904

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Heroes of the Goodwin Sands

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For twenty-six years, as Missions to Seamen Chaplain for the Downs, the writer of the following chapters has seen much of the Deal boatmen, both ashore and in their daily perilous life afloat. For twenty-three years he has also been the Honorary Secretary of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution for the Goodwin Sands and Downs Branch; he has sometimes been afloat in the lifeboats at night and in storm, and he has come into official contact with the boatmen in their lifeboat work, in the three lifeboats stationed right opposite the Goodwin Sands, at Deal, Walmer, and Kingsdown. With these opportunities of observation, he has written accurate accounts of a few of the splendid rescues effected on those out-lying and dangerous sands by the boatmen he knows so well.

Book Excerpt

st us and the wind dropping to a calm, we revisited this sternpost of the Terpsichore. We got down mast and sails and took to our oars. The light air from the north-east blew golden feathery cloud-films across the great blue arch above our heads, and for once in the arctic summer of 1891 the air was warm and balmy. Starting from the North-west Goodwin buoy, we soon rowed into shallow water, crossing a long spit of sand on which, not far from us, a feathery breaker raced. Again we get into deep water, having just hit the passage into an amphitheatre in the Goodwins of deep water bordered by a circle or ridge of sand about three feet under water, over which the in-tide was fiercely running and rippling, and upon which here and there a breaker raised its warning crest.

We reached the great sternpost of the lost Terpsichore at 9.22 a.m., just two hours before low water at the neap tides, and found it projected five feet nine inches above the water, which was ten feet six inches deep in the swilly close to