BA October 20th 1910
INQUIRY AT YARMOUTH
The official enquiry into the circumstances of the loss of the engineer of the Banff steam drifter BF 188 Mistletoe, which was wrecked at Yarmouth on Saturday, has been held at the Custom House at Yarmouth by Mr. M.A. Leavey, receiver of wrecks & the owner of the ill-fated boat, Mr. George Flett of Findochty was present.
The skipper, Alexander Flett, said that he was returning from the fishing grounds & was taking the harbour on the ebb-tide, when his vessel grounded aft, when she was in mid - channel. She immediately swung to & was struck by a succession of seas that filled the fish hold & forced her bows under. All of the crew of nine hands ran aft, & as the deck was underwater, took to the mizzen mast & rigging. There were many men on the North pier who immediately threw out ropes with buoys attached, by means of which some of the crew were saved, while the Coastguards fired a line which was secured to the mast. Two more were taken ashore in the breeches buoy, but before eight of them had been saved there had been a series of perilous escapes.
Three of them were washed away, each of whom succeeded in catching hold of a buoy or rope, by which they were hauled ashore, but the engineer, John Duke, was less fortunate. He was carried away from the vessel & at first got hold of a spar, but on drifting among some buoys & nets, he let go the spar & hung onto the buoys for a time, until he appeared to get entangled amongst the nets & ropes & sank after struggling for twenty minutes. The skipper himself had been swept overboard by a sea, from the small boat into which he had crawled for refuge.
BA March 28th 1912
THE LOSS OF THE DRIFTER MISTLETOE
CLAIMS AGAINST YARMOUTH AUTHORITIES
VERDICT FOR DEFENDANTS
On Friday in the Admiralty Court, the owners, masters & crew of the Findochty steam drifter BF 188 Mistletoe, (G. Flett master), sued the Great Yarmouth Port & Haven Commissioners to recover damages arising out of the loss of the drifter in October 1910, through striking on a sandbank, which as alleged had formed between the pierheads at the entrance to Yarmouth Harbour.
Plaintiff's case was that the defendants, as the harbour authority, failed in their duty to warn the drifter of the obstruction, & to keep the entrance in a safe & proper condition.
Defendants denied the existence of a sandbank, & pleaded that the loss of the drifter was solely caused by the negligence of the plaintiffs or their servants in & about her navigation & movement.
Defendants counterclaimed for the expenses they were put to in removing the wreck.
Decision was made in favour of the Harbour Authorities.