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Last Updated: Saturday, 29 October 2005, 14:18 GMT 15:18 UK
Tributes for brave lifeboat crew
Brave lifeboat crew from Wells
Wells lifeboat lost 11 of its 13 crew in a dramatic rescue in 1880
Descendants of 11 lifeboat crewmen who died during a dramatic rescue 125 years ago have returned to the disaster scene for a special memorial service.

The Eliza Adams lifeboat was called out from Wells-next-the-Sea in Norfolk in severe gales on 29 October 1880.

It saved seven crew from the Sharon's Rose but was then called to the Ocean Queen floundering on a sand bank.

The lifeboat was unable to help but on the return to harbour disaster struck in heavy sea and the boat capsized.

Of the 13 crew, only two survived - leaving ten widows and 27 fatherless children.

Experienced seamen

Ironically, the crew of the Ocean Queen survived the storm and walked safely ashore when the tide ebbed.

William Bell was one of the two crew who survived and his great grandson Allen Frary is a member of the current lifeboat crew.

He said: "It must've been terrifying... but these were all experienced seamen. They had a job to do. Their job as lifeboat men was to save lives.

"My great grandfather, as with the rest of them, wouldn't have thought about the consequences."

Geoff Perkins' great grandfather was one of the lifeboat men who died after rescuing Peter Frank's great grandfather from the Ocean Queen and both were at the service.

The service was held on Saturday at the village lifeboat station.


01 Feb 05 |  Northern Ireland

17 Dec 99 |  UK News

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