Looking through this list of wrecks and rescues you will possibly notice that most of them occur around the months of winter, usually between November and April however tragedies are not unique to that time of year and it’s possible to be caught out in the summer months too.
The 18th August 1848 was one of those days. It was the height of the herring season and many boats would have been at sea when “the East Coast of Scotland was visited by a hurricane, which, the intensity, while it lasted, and the awful destruction of life and property which it occasioned, is almost, without a parallel in our annals”.
There was much loss of boats and lives up and down the north eastern portion of Scotland which included upwards of forty individuals losing their lives along the Aberdeen and Kincardineshire coasts and more than fifty people losing their lives along the Caithness and Sutherland coast. Over one hundred people dead due to a summer storm!
We didn’t escape unscathed and two Portlethen brothers, Joseph and Alexander Craig, met their demise during this particular storm. Their boat had been caught up in the storm whilst fishing off Stonehaven and they were forced to run northwards where it was their intention to land at Nigg Bay.
As they approached the entrance to the bay the boat was struck by a heavy sea which threw the vessel upon the rocks, one of the crew was immediately swept overboard and perished. The rest of the crew, with the exception of the captain, managed to scramble their way over the rocks and reached dry land. The captain was very unfortunate, when the boat struck the rocks he was thrown from his seat to the bottom of the vessel, and almost at the same time the cargo of nets, boxes and fish came loose and toppled upon him and he was unable to extricate himself to make a bid for freedom. He was found dead a few hours later with his cargo of nets and fish still pinning him to the deck.