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5212Re: [Peterhead] Re: Losses of Seamen and Fishermen from Peterhead

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  • Mary Barnes
    Feb 7, 2010
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      Hi Alison,

      You might also be interested in the following, from the East Aberdeenshire Observer of Friday May 11, 1877:

      Melancholy Boat Accident � Three Lives Lost � A melancholy boat accident, resulting in the loss of three lives, occurred on Monday afternoon. The arrival of one or two vessels at Peterhead were expected that day, and in order to get an earlier view of them as they approached from the South, Matthew Nicol, pilot; William Duncan, seaman; and John Suttar Strachan, son of Geo. Strachan, master of the steam tug Pride o� Scotland, proceeded in a boat to Boddam. Having remained there for a short time and taken refreshments they again went to sea to pilot any vessel to the harbour which might require their services. They were never again seen alive, and in the evening a Burnhaven crew who had been at the haddock fishing found the boat, in which the unfortunate men had sailed, lying on its broadside and the occupants nowhere to be seen. The boat was towed into Boddam. It is supposed that it had been upset by a sudden squall as when found the sail was set and the sheet fast. Several boats have since been out in the vicinity where it is supposed that the boat has been swamped, but none of the bodies have yet been seen, and there can be no doubt that the tide has carried them southwards.
      Matthew Nicol, who was 66 years of age, leaves a wife and nine of a family, most of whom are grown up. He was a native of Berwick, but for many years was master and part owner of several trading vessels, and latterly he owned a herring curing establishment in Peterhead. William Duncan, who was 58 years of age, was a seaman, and for many years sailed in the schooner Jane of Peterhead. He leaves a wife and four of a family. Strachan used to sail with his father, but on Monday he chanced to stop on shore and by accident accompanied Nicol and Duncan into the boat to Boddam. Much sympathy is felt for the relations of the drowned men.

      There is also a report of the same incident in the Peterhead Sentinel of Wednesday May 9 1877, which includes the additional information: "it is thought that it [the capsize] took place about 150 yards from the Skerrie�.

      I suggest that you pick a decade, and go through the back issues of the local newspapers and see what you can find. I'm sure you will get plenty of material. Good luck with the project.

      Mary Barnes

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