Sailing Barque [25M] (Detail in LARN) & (Clarke: GPS; 50 40.52N; 02 56.15W) – Extensively Salvaged – Lyme Regis. BOT: Wk. Rtn. 1849-60 p116; BOT: USC 1852 p589-90; The Times Newspaper: 11/01/1854 p7. & Farr: p19. Excellent Article in Dive Dorset: p38-41 Site 23. Back to Other Gales.

Report 1 – Reference Farr p 19.

The Lifeboat Institution in 1852 had finally decided to help purchase for Lyme Regis a modern Peake Type self righting lifeboat if two thirds of the cost could be subscribed locally.  However before the boat arrived there was a spectacular wreck on the rocks close to the Cobb.

The barque HEROINE, of London, outward bound with emigrants for Port Philip, Australia, came ashore in a hurricane on Boxing Day and soon foundered.  After she had struck the rocks the crew, by a combination of good fortune and seamanship, were able to launch their longboat and another small boat and the whole compliment of 44, including passengers, got ashore safely.  They were helped by a boat from the revenue cruiser FRANCES, which went out to direct them to the harbour entrance.  Unfortunately the small craft was upset  in the surf and four of the five brave men were drowned.  They comprised three of the FRANCES crew and the mate of the schooner HONITON PACKET.  A fund was raised for the widows and orphans, and the Lifeboat Institution, giving a sum of money to the fund, also awarded its silver medal to the one crew member survivor, William Bridle, master of the cutter PRIMROSE.  

Report 2

The Heroine was an British emigrant vessel (Barque) carrying about 13 passengers to the Australian gold fields, the vessel had got into difficulties off Beer Head, Devon in a tremendous SW gale, struck the rocks and started to leak, drifting back  with the wind towards Lyme Regis.  It became necessary  to abandon the vessel and the crew and passengers took to the boats rowing to Lyme Regis.  A  boat from the Revenue cutter FRANCES, which put out to direct them  into the harbour, overturned in the surf and four of her five crew drowned.  The total number of passengers on the HEROINE is in doubt, since one  entry states 38 survivors landed, another 44.  The passengers were destitute, and all lodged at the Pilot Boat Inn.  Meanwhile the HEROINE drifted past the harbour and sank in 13 fathoms, some 3-4 miles off.  Divers salvaged the cargo, and were ‘an object of interest to visitors in 1853’. In the same storm several other vessel were lost and the Coastguards were  busy.  Value of ship £2000 and cargo £20,000.


LARN, 1852
BOT Wk. Rtn. 1849-60 p116.
BOT USC 1852 p589-590.
The Times 11/01/1854 p7.

Day of Loss: 27

Month of Loss: 12

Year of Loss: 1852

Longitude: 50 40.52

Latitude: 02 56.15

Approximate Depth: 25