On This Day in Trinity House History – 1 February


Trinity House Advises the King’s Navy

Trinity House Court Minute:

“Trinity House recommends the continuance of the cook rooms in H.M. ships in the mid-ships.”


THV Argus Workboat Disaster

During the night of 30 January a collision occurred between the steamer Dundee and an unknown barge; the latter was sunk 300 feet from the Cockle lightvessel. The crew of the barge were all drowned and her identity could not at first be established.

On 1 February the Trinity House Vessel Argus proceeded to remove the mast of the wreck, which was an obstruction to navigation, and so could be removed or destroyed by Trinity House as part of its statutory duties.

The weather being too bad for divers to go down, explosive charges were attached to a wire sweep rope and used to clear away the mast and other erections above deck.

The work was being carried out from the Argus workboat, in charge of Mr. Bound, Chief Officer, the crew consisting of five Seamen and one Seaman-Diver.

Two small charges had been successfully fired, but when the third charge was fired a terrific explosion occurred, a column of water being thrown up as high as the lantern of the lightvessel, both the Argus and lightvessel being severely shaken. The boat was thrown out of the water and capsized, all the crew with the exception of Mr. Bound, losing their lives.

When the wreckage floated to the surface, a board with the name Good Hope was picked up; this established the vessel as being the ketch Good Hope of Rye, which vessel had loaded at Faversham a cargo of explosives, said to be 40 tons of gelignite.

THV Argus workboat disaster - local newspaper 1909

THV Argus workboat disaster – local newspaper 1909

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