Tomorrow marks the bicentenary of the accident that helped save subsequent lives at sea

Saturday marks the 200th anniversary of one of Britain’s worst lifeboat disasters

Blyth lifeboat, with its crew of 17, was returning to shore carrying 11 fishermen it had rescued from fishing cobles off Seaton Sluice when huge waves smashed it against the beach.

The boat disintegrated and, despite the valiant efforts of shore helpers to rescue them, all but two of the 28 men aboard drowned. It was later alleged that the boatbuilder had used inferior materials in the construction of the boat to save money.

Although the National Institution for the Preservation of Life from Shipwreck, which later became the RNLI, was not formed until 14 years after the Blyth tragedy, the names of the lifeboat men who lost their lives on 17 April 1810 are recorded on the RNLI memorial sculpture at Poole.