Wreck of the Barque Pudyona and gallant rescue of the the crew.

The third week of October 1862 was a stormy period and on Monday 27th October the relatively new steam-tug Wyre, commanded by Captain William Swarbrick, along with pilots Gerrard, Hornby, and Hesketh and the tug crew rescued 17 crew members from the barque Pudyona of Glasson, in what was described in the local press as an act of heroic gallantry when the Pudyona became stranded in Morecambe Bay.

Pudyona and Tug WyreThe Pudyona was a three masted barque on a voyage from Quebec (Canada) to Glasson Dock, laden with timber.  She was owned by Mr J.S. Burrell, Esq., of Lancaster, and in the command of Captain Foster. Having completed the ocean voyage sailing over 2,000 miles from Quebec, during the gales of the previous week the Pudyona put into Holyhead, and it was there that Captain Foster received a letter from the ship-owner Mr Burrell stating that -  following the prosperous voyage if he was able to he could get a tug from Holyhead to tow Pudyona to Glasson Dock to ensure he was there in time to navigate up the River Lune channel on the spring tides. On Sunday evening 26th October 1862 she left Holyhead in tow of the steam-tug Teazer, of Liverpool, and proceeded towards Glasson Dock, a journey of around 70 miles.  The weather was fine on Sunday evening, but the strong breeze that was blowing increased to gale-force before morning.  Halfway through the voyage the tow-rope parted, but it was possible to re-connect to the tug Teazer, and continue the tow.  The two vessels proceeded safely into Morecambe Bay until within about a  mile east of Danger Patch, and not having a pilot on board they missed the Lune Deep channel and the ship struck the bottom on foul ground, breaking the tow again, and less than 10 miles from her destination of Glasson Dock.  

The force of the concussion was so great that the masts went overboard, carrying all the rigging with them, and leaving the vessel at the mercy of the sea, which dashed over her in a frightful manner.  The position of the crew was truly fearful; the vessel was fast going to pieces, and the sea breaking over her, so they had difficulty saving themselves from being  washed overboard, whilst the Teazer having her tow rope to attend to could not render them any assistance.  

In this position she was seen by Captain Swarbrick, of the steam tug Wyre, who was going out of Fleetwood with the three pilots on board to the assistance of a brig, and immediately made all speed to her assistance.  They hailed the Teazer and asked if they had got the crew of the barque on board, but were told that they had not, and the lifeboat was wanted.  Captain Swarbrick and his gallant crew at once went to the distressed vessel, being determined to rescue those on board if possible.  On arriving there they found that the wreck of the masts and rigging rendered it impossible to approach on the lee or port side whilst the sea was beating up against her starboard side (which was to windward) and making a clean breach over her, thus rendering it a very dangerous task to attempt to approach on that side.  However, the minds of those on board the Wyre were speedily made up, and on the second attempt the tug boat was run alongside her starboard quarter, and the crew of the ship, who had stationed themselves on that part of the vessel, leaped on board the Wyre, and she went off again as quickly as possible, fortunately, without having sustained any serious injury. 

Pudyona & WyreWhen the tug arrived at the wreck, the port side was out and the cargo might be seen through her stern; and almost immediately afterwards the ill-fated vessel was driven over the bank into the swashway, and went down in deep water.  The Wyre, with the crew of the Pudyona on board, next proceeded to the assistance of the brig Marys, of and for Glasson Dock, from Miramichi, with timber, which vessel, with both anchors down was dragging and making signals for help.  The tug took her in tow and arrived at Glasson Dock at three o’ clock in the afternoon, where she landed the crew of the barque, and returned to Fleetwood.  It is hoped that the efforts of the crew of the Wyre may meet with some substantial reward at the hands of the Board of Trade for their conduct on this occasion.

Captain Rawstorne, the harbour master at Fleetwood, has addressed a communication to the Secretary of the Shipwrecked Fishermen and Mariners Society, strongly calling attention to the meritorious conduct of the master and crew of the Wyre, and recommending them to the notice of the Society as being worthy of some substantial mark of encouragement at their hands, for their dauntless bravery on this trying occasion.                               

Presentation of Silver Medal and Telescope.

(Report reproduced from the Fleetwood Chronicle, Blackpool Herald and Lytham Gazette  24th October, 1862).

Arrival of the rescued crew of Pudyona at Glasson Dock

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