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Madeline - a general history

Official No. 67550: Code Letters NPBH.

Owners: 1874 George Pyman & Co, West Hartlepool: 1880 Pyman, Bell & Co, West Hartlepool.

Masters: 1875-76 William Barff (CC No. 82083): 1877 Robert Pearce: 1887-89 Batty: 1890 HF Nedden: 1891 WH Lock.

Voyages: 19 October 1875 she stranded on the New Grund Shoal, Gulf of Finland. The inquiry found that the stranding was due to an error of judgement on the part of the master in shaping a course too near the New Grund Shoal in the then uncertain state of the weather. He was cautioned to be more careful in future, but his certificate was returned to him: 24 November 1880 from Dantsic for Grimsby sheran onto rocks at Boulby near Staithes. The crew were rescued by the Staithes lifeboat. She was towed off by 4 tugs on 29 November to be taken to Hartlepool.

Bound from Munksund, Sweden for London with a cargo of deals & a total crew of 18 Madeline was wrecked on South Storgrund Reef in the Gulf of Bothnia on 24 October 1891. 14 of the crew were from South Shields. No lives lost.

Northern Guardian 9 November 1891:

‘Fourteen of the crew of the screw-steamer Madeline of West Hartlepool which was wrecked in the Gulf of Bothnia during last month have just arrived at their homes in South Shields bringing further particulars respecting the loss of their vessel. It appears that Madeline, at the time of the casualty, was proceeding on a voyage from Pitea to London with a cargo of deals. It seems all proceeded well until the 24th of last month, when she went ashore about eight o’clock in the morning. Subsequently the crew, for their safety, launched the lifeboat-& having all got safely into it, pulled for an island about five miles distant. There was a heavy sea & strong wind prevailing at the time, but the lifeboat behaved remarkably well under the circumstances, & the crew succeeded in safely landing on the island without any mishap. The island was found to be uninhabited & the men conveyed the lifeboat across the island & afterwards made for another island adjacent thereto. The crew afterwards set out on foot in order to reach two wooden huts about two miles distant where they made themselves as comfortable as they could under the circumstances-especially as some of them were only scantily clad. One of the officers & a seaman subsequently pulled across a lake where, after landing, they were fortunate in falling in with a Swedish farmer who despatched two other boats & had the crew conveyed to his house where they were treated with the greatest hospitality. The weather at the time was exceedingly cold & wintry. The crew were afterwards taken from that island & sent home. Part of the cargo had been saved. Madeline was an iron steamer of 1282 tons gross register & built at West Hartlepool in 1874, her managing owner being Mr Thomas Bell, Quay Side, Newcastle.’

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