Stories and Testimonials
Four rescues, one day.
Peterhead Lifeboat Julia Park Barry of Glasgow was called out at 0655 on the morning of the 30th October 1940 in severe weather conditions to attend the stricken vessel S.S. Lisbon, a steamer carrying general cargo from Lisbon to London that had ran aground off Rattray Head.
The Lifeboat rescued all 30 crewmen from the Lisbon before attending the S.S. Simonburn, a steamer carrying wheat from Canada, that had also fallen afoul of the harsh weather and was driven ashore at Rattray Head. The Lifeboat rescued 23, but was forced to leave a further 16 on board as there was simply no more room. Due to extreme weather conditions and with so many passengers the lifeboat was unable to return to Peterhead, and instead landed at Fraserburgh.
Now 11am, the Julia Park Barry of Glasgow headed out to sea once more, and rescued the remaining 16 crewmembers on the Simonburn before heading to the aid of the S.S. Baron Minto which had been driven aground at Strathbeg Bay, and rescuing a further 24 crewmen.
Once again the Julia Park Barry of Glasgow landed at Fraserburgh and offloaded her most precious cargo around 1415, before being called out once more to aid the S.S. Alcora, the fourth steamer to have run aground that day at Rattray Head. They eventually returned to port around 1600, having been at sea in atrocious weather for well over 9 hours, and having rescued over 90 people.
In 2002 Mr Bill Hall, a survivor rescued from the S.S. Simonburn, visited Peterhead Lifeboat Station from his home in New Zealand to award the station with a commemorative plaque and framed certificate of thanks, both of which are displayed with pride in the station.
On October 30th 2009, members of the RNLI Peterhead Lifeboat Crew gathered to partake in a wee dram courtesy of Bill Hall on the 69th anniversary of the rescue of the SS Simonburn.
Click the thumbs for full photograph.