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Into the Maelstrom

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Into the Maelstrom

The Wreck of HMHS Rohilla


Paperback / softback

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Into the Maelstrom by Colin Brittain
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On 29 October 1914 the hospital ship Rohilla (7,400 tons) with 229 people on board left Queensferry for Dunkirk. At 4a.m. on 30 October she ran onto the rocks at Saltwick Nab, about a mile south of Whitby. Weather conditions were very bad and it was impossible to launch the Whitby No. 1 Lifeboat and row her around to the wreck. Instead, the No. 2 boat John Fielden was hauled over the beach to a position opposite the Rohilla and, despite the awful conditions, eventually reached the wreck after great difficulty. Five nurses and 12 men were rescued on this first trip, followed by a second trip when a further 18 men were rescued. During this second trip the lifeboat was badly damaged. A succession of lifeboats tried to reach the ship and eventually one made it. Of the 229 people on board the Rohilla, 84 were lost. Several of those involved in the rescue attempts received RNLI Medals. The story of that fateful few days when North Yorkshire's lifeboats made one of their most daring rescues.
Release date NZ
May 1st, 2002
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
The History Press Ltd
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