Wreck: 120 years this week since the 'SS Nornen' ran aground
120th anniversary of the ship SS Nornen being washed up on Berrow
beach has been remembered this week.
rescue of ten crewmembers from the stricken ship was recalled at
a history meeting on Friday night (March 3rd), exactly 120 years
to the day when it ran aground.
historian John Strickland recounted how during the early part of
March 1897 a howling south westerly gale swept up the Bristol Channel,
bringing with it high seas, driving snow and sleet.
ships soon found themselves in distress, among them the Norwegian
barque SS Nornen which had tried out to ride out the storm in the
lee of the Lundy Roads but had found her anchors dragging.
ship was being driven towards Berrow's mud flats, and the crew desperately
tied to save her, but were fighting a losing cause.
the early hours of the morning on March 3rd, the crippled ship was
spotted just off Gore Sands, her sails blown to rags by the gale.
lifeboat, the John Godfrey Morris, was launched down the rails on
the town's jetty - and its crew of ten oarsmen rowed through high
seas and winds to reach the SS Nornen.
the gale, the lifeboat managed to get alongside the helpless ship,
just as she was being driven onto the beach.
ship's crew of ten, together with their dog, were taken off by the
lifeboat and landed safely at Burnham.
rescue is recorded on the honours board of rescues made by the three
lifeboats at Burnham during the period from 1867 to 1930 and which
today stands in the entrance to the Burnham lifeboat Station.
the rescue, the sea pounded and smashed the ship and although attempts
were made to lighten and refloat her, she was finally sold as a
when the tide goes out, the remaining timbers of the ship wreck,
which lies just to the north of St Mary's Parish Church at Berrow,
are still visible.