In the thick weather that prevailed off the East Coast on
24th September, a number of vessels were in distress. One of these
vessels was the “Radium”, of Trieste, a
vessel of 2000 tons register, on a voyage from Newcastle to Venice.
The ship left the Tyne at about
on Friday 23rd
and encountered rough weather and thick fog. Navigation was most difficult and
the vessel was assumed to have been driven off her course. She was carrying
5000 tons of coal and had a crew of 28. She struck the ground 50 yards from the
base of the towering cliffs at “New Roll Up” near Bempton.
S.O.S. messages were sent out, and were picked up along the
coast. One was received at Flamborough, and the Life Saving Apparatus Company
was called out from Speeton and Flamborough. The vessel was very difficult to
locate in the darkness and fog, but with great expedition, the rocket apparatus
was put into position, and a line was shot across the deck of the vessel. The
crew and their belongings were rescued by “breeches buoy”, and after much
difficult persuasion the Captain of the “Radium”, Savo Nickovic, was at last
hauled to safety over the cliff top.
The vessel could not be seen from the cliff top, only the
top of the funnel being visible.
Soon after the she struck, the boiler-house and engine room
were flooded, and at high tide the waves were washing over her. In addition to
the Life Saving Apparatus Company, The North Landing Lifeboat was launched ,
and stood by for some time, ready to render any assistance needed. The crew of
the “Radium” were taken to Flamborough, and then to Hull, where
they were looked after by the Italian Consul. The vessel was a total loss, and
the crew attributed their rescue to their “lucky” black ships cats “ Lily “& “Booby “. These cats unfortunately were left on board
the vessel to perish.
The wreck lies @ at Gps Ref: TA 201 – 738 and her boilers
can be seen breaking the surf from “New Roll Up” cliff top near the R.S.P.B.
centre at Bempton. Through binoculars a ships propeller can be seen on the
shore at low tides.