Special service to remember sailors and lifeboat crew killed in Great Gale off Yorkshire Coast

A special service takes place in Bridlington on Sunday to remember the sailors and lifeboat crew members killed by the Great Gale.

Wednesday, 5th February 2020, 10:32 am
Updated Wednesday, 5th February 2020, 10:33 am

The huge storm - one of Britain’s biggest sea disasters - struck Bridlington's bay on February 10, 1871.

It raged for hours, killing more than 40 sailors and wrecking 23 coal and merchant ships.

There were two separate lifeboats at sea that day and time after time, each brought exhausted sailors back to the shore, watched by hundreds of onlookers.

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The Great Gale service in 2019. Picture: JPI Media/ Paul Atkinson

While trying to save a survivor off a brig named Delta of Whitby, one of the lifeboats - Harbinger - capsized, resulting in the death of six of the crew.

The lifeboat crew and the bodies of 43 sailors are laid to rest in Bridlington Priory’s churchyard.

The Great Gale Service will take place at Bridlington Priory at 10.30am, led by The Rev Matthew Pollard.

Members of Bridlington RNLI will attend the service, including the lifeboat crew and management group as well as station supporters.

The Great Gale service in 2019. Picture: JPI Media/ Paul Atkinson

A spokesman for Bridlington Lifeboat said: “The warm welcome we always receive at the Priory means a great deal to the station and crew.

“Next year it will be 150 years since the tragedy and the station management group are already thinking how best to honour those lost.”