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Drama at the mouth of the River Tyne in 1976.

when they saw the ship looming through the fog.

South Tyneside Parks Superintendant, Jim Pearson, was on the Groyne when the drama began.

He told the Chronicle: "The fog was dense, then suddenly this huge shape loomed up in front of us and we realised it was a ship's bow."

The ship was backed off the beach by the master and Tyne pilot in bright sunshine eight hours after running aground, and the collier was soon back afloat.

IT'S all quiet off the North East coast today, but 41 years ago a beached ship at South Shields had local folk - and Chronicle reporters - heading down to the mouth of the Tyne to view the drama.

Given the seafaring history of our region, it wasn't uncommon to see a vessel in trouble off our shores in the rough North Sea.

Indeed, if we take the stretch of water between Whitby and Berwick, there were around 380 recorded shipwrecks between 1740 and 2000.

Happily, the stricken ship in our main picture from April 19, 1976 was quickly back at sea.

The 4,400-ton collier Duncansby Head had beached in dense fog on the soft sand alongside the Groyne lighthouse at South Shields.

It was time when the North East coalfield was in operation and colliers still shipped coal from staiths on the River Tyne to London and elsewhere.

Thousands of sightseers gathered to see the ship before it refloated under its own steam.

But early morning strollers and fishermen had dashed for safety


The scene, left, at the Groyne, on April 19, 1976, and today

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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Nov 30, 2017
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