It appears to have been quite a common occurrence for cargo and pieces of wreckage to be washed up on the Kincardineshire coast without any obvious sign of where the vessel actually foundered. These types of wrecks were probably catalogued as “lost at sea – place unknown”.
There was a large storm on the east of Scotland during late January and early February of this year with vessels lost and wreckage being discovered up and down the coast. The Muchalls coastguard reported that a “considerable quantity of battens have been washed ashore at several of the fish towns up and down the coast, from Cove Bay to Stonehaven; also, several oak planks, apparently of a vessel broken up; a piece of a vessel’s stern, marked in gilt letters, the ‘Sarah of Boston’, is cast ashore at Portlethen; a part of a head rail, marked ‘Gefe’, at Downies; and, at Muchalls, there is also cast on the shore part of the head rail of a vessel, marked ‘Aberdeenshire’, on a green ground, with yellow letters”.
We can’t say with absolute certainty that these vessels were wrecked in the vicinity of where their wreckage was found however the likelihood is that they did founder on coastal rocks and for that reason alone the wrecks of the vessels were likely to be near to where the bulk of the wreckage and cargo was discovered. Had these vessels sunk at sea they would have slipped beneath the surface in one piece and any flotsam and jetsam escaping from the vessel would have been cast far and wide.
By that reckoning I’m assuming that the “Sarah of Boston” went down near Portlethen, the “Gefe” went down near Downies and the “Aberdeenshire” struck rocks near Muchalls. There is no indication of the human cost relating to these particular sinkings.