Holy Island Shipwrecks
|"well - just some of our local shipwrecks"
The Haracalo - 1904
The Abyssinia - 1919
The Coryton - 1941
Werner Kunstmann - 1914
Sea Belle - 1889
The Farne Island Group is located about 10 miles south-east of Berwick-upon-Tweed.
The islands represent the culmination of a layer of whinsill rock extending from across the country from Cumbria. For every
visible island there are a host of underlying rocky outcrops. They are reckoned to be some of the most dangerous waters around
the British Isles rendered even more dangerous as they are enroute for all shipping navigating the northeast coastline and
the tidal currents are both tricky and tremendous.
It is fitting, therefore, that one of our lighthouses The
Longstone (of Grace Darling fame) houses the brightest
light in Europe. Additionally, there are many unusual
structures around our coastline which act as beacons through
which navigation of the complex passages is effected.
The number of wrecks is legion and ranges from Spanish boats
in centuries past - supplying their Scottish ally, during the
period of terrible war between Scotland and England and who, in
the confusion of their passage through the islands, were carrion
to the English naval squadron lying in wait at Holy Island -
right through to modern times. The fast, changing currents racing
around the rocky bottom disturb the naturally occuring coal
slurry renders visibility almost zero in places. Diving and
recovery is consequentially dangerous even for the most
experienced and in any event many of the wrecks are soon brocken
up and dispersed.
Lindisfarne<, the largest of the Farnes, has a
traditional association with the sea with a nautical history
which traces back well over 1300 years. In years gone by two
lifeboats operated from the island manned by the heroic ancestors
of our present day fishermen.
Todays' lifeboats are based at Berwick-upon-Tweed and
Seahouses. There are many who still feel that there remains a
need for one based on the island - filling in a potentially
missing gap in coastline security and providing a more immediate
(and economical) response for the occasional visitors who become
stranded on the island's causeway.