LLOYDS MEDAL FOR SAVING LIFE AT SEA
by Charles Brett
The edge is inscribed THOMAS LLOYD, Chief Gunners Mate, North Yarmouth 13th December 1882.
The Wreck that gave rise to the award of this medal is Vividley described in the Eastern Daily Press newspaper 15th November 1882.
The recent market chance in the weather here was followed on Monday evening by the visitation of another furious north-easterly gale, which brought up a very heavy sea along the coast. There was not at the time but very few vessels lying in the Roadstead, and with one exception they sustained no damage we believe, but rode safely through the storm. One ship however, the Norwegian brig 'Katland' belonging to Hernosand, laden with deals, from Fursand to Caen in Normandy, drifted ashore south of Nelson's Column. Her dangerous position having become known, the Yarmouth and Gorleston Companies of Coastguardmen were both quickly upon the spot with their lifesaving apparatus.
The condition of the crew had by this time become a very perilous one, and some considerable difficulty was experienced in saving them, insomuch as the vessel kept reeling over on her side on account of the boisterous sea which prevailed. Each company of coastguards fired their lines to the brig, the Yarmouth men in the first instance sending one their own number off to the vessel in order to instruct the crew how to avail themselves of the rocket and to help them in their somewhat exhausted state to get safely ashore. The Gorleston men secured their ropes also to the ill-fated brig, but their use was not found necessary. The crew of the 'Katland', eight in all, were soon landed and taken on to the Sailor's Home, where they were generously attended to by Mr. Watson, the kind hearted secretary of the Institution. The fact of the vessel having struck the shore and was lying in the breakers was speedily made known and from an early hour in the morning and during the day, large numbers of persons congregated at the south extremity of the Parade to witness the distress of the brig, whilst others in the face and teeth of the gale made their way to the immediate spot of the disaster.
During the service of the coastguards, which was rendered with all alacrity, the stout craft commenced to break up, large pieces of what was supposed to be her keel, together with bolts, etc., came ashore. It therefore is only too probable that she will become a total wreck, but the crew may yet, at low water, have the opportunity of boarding and obtaining their clothes and other articles, should the brig be able to further resist the violence of the gale. It is supposed that whilst in distress during the night the ship first got into dangerous proximity with the Hasbro' Sand, and that she either drifted or was run ashore as a result of an endeavour of the captain to keep her clear of the sands.' Two days later the newspaper published a letter correcting the above account:—'Rescue of a Shipwrecked Crew off Yarmouth — A Correction. Sir, Allow me to correct a statement I saw in today's Press respecting the stranding of the brig 'Katland'. You say in your account of the affair that the Gorleston men effected communication with the ship, but their lines were not required. Allow me to say that after the Yarmouth men sent two rockets over or not very near to the vessel, we arrived on the scene, and our men sent a shot bang over the vessel's quarter, and the crew commenced hauling on our lines, and we sent the whip off and landed two men before it was necessary for anyone to go to the vessel to assist in putting the crew into the lifebuoy. When it became necessary to do so, two of our men volunteered to go, but were not allowed to do so. Our lines only were used in saving the crew of eight men. Trusting you will let this appear in your next issue in common fairness to our brigade, I am sir, your obedient servant, One of the Gorleston L.S.A. Company. Gorleston, Suffolk, November 15th, 1882.