Memorial services are to be held to commemorate the 125th anniversary of the Ribble estuary disaster

 

Memorial services are to be held to commemorate the 125th anniversary of the country’s worst ever lifeboat disaster, which falls this week (9/10 December). A total of 27 volunteer lifeboat crewmen died in the tragedy when two out of three lifeboats launched to rescue men from the German barque Mexico were overwhelmed by heavy seas in the Ribble estuary.

Southport lifeboat capsized shortly before reaching the casualty, throwing her crew into the sea, and although the boat was later washed ashore, only two out of her crew of 16 survived the ordeal. The St Anne’s lifeboat set out into the darkness and was not seen again until she was found upturned on Southport beach the following day, her entire crew of 13 being drowned.

Despite the horrendous conditions, Lytham lifeboat managed to go alongside the stricken Mexico and rescue her crew of 12 men before landing them safely ashore. Memorial services will be held on Saturday 10 December at the Lifeboat Memorial, Southport Promenade, starting at 10.00am, and at St John’s Church, East Beach, Lytham on Sunday 11 December 2011 at 10.30am.