He yelled to Tonks, then began the arduous task of hauling it in, which he was doing as engineer Frederick Vincent came out of the engine-room and proceeded to help get the rope back on board. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so. HP10 9TY | 01676637 | Registered in England & Wales. Tommy Carter and his crew went to the pier, found a small boat and loaded it on a lorry. Some of the disaster stories are taken from my book. For two years there was a plan to rebuild the bridge and school children from Sharpness and Berkeley continued to attend Lydney grammar school thanks to a special train via Gloucester laid on by British Railways. On the night of 25th October 1960 - a Tuesday - 16 vessels, many carrying cargos of oil from Swansea or petrol from Avonmouth, were heading up the Severn aiming to enter Sharpness Harbour on the late tide. News of the disaster travelled slowly and only a handful of people were there to see the stricken vessels. One pier and two spans [each span about 170] of single track .75 mile long railway bridge destroyed by impact and collapse. Single man Had been with the company for 12months. Soon after arrival, a message was received by radio to the effect that the helicopter had engine trouble and would not be available. About an hour later, carried back down river by the ebbing tide, a second, Jim Dew - captain of the Wastdale, reached the Forest shore near the bridge and presented himself naked at a local pub. The two survivors, Albert Tonks and Frederick Vincent, both fit young men, walked out across the sands to the wreck of the, As Albert Tonks began to give evidence, Sir Seymour told him that he need not give evidence if he felt something would transpire that would tend to imply he was criminally responsible for the accident.

AN EARLIER SEVERN BRIDGE DISASTER. A further search was made the following morning, but due to the quantity of water and oil in the vessels only a small section could he searched.

GLOUCESTERSHIRE FIRE SERVICE                                RESEARCH REPORT, 1. Cries for help were dearly heard by people on the banks of the river, including at Purton about a mile upstream.

Gloucester Shipyard, No wonder then that 57 year old Henry Phillips groaned as he was woken at 4am, hastily getting ready to leave his home at Purton to begin a long day on his barge, the, By the time they arrived at Avonmouth, daylight was breaking making their life easier as all three vessels proceeded to the large oil dock to each load their different liquid cargoes. Newsquest Media Group Ltd, Loudwater Mill, Station Road, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire. Those ads you do see are predominantly from local businesses promoting local services. He said that none of the barge masters had a Masters Certificate or any form of certificate. Trying to get into the port the fast current of the Severn swept them into the bridge and disaster struck. Read more. WASTDALE H at about 2230 hours, 4.

The ARKENDALE H was already swinging off Sharpness, stemming the tide waiting to enter the port when the tug ADDIE and tow came across the barges bow forcing skipper George Thompson [35] to go full astern. During the day arrangements were made to transport a light portable pump to the wrecks to pump out the water and the remaining oil to enable a search to be made of the interiors of the vessels for the missing members of the crews. so he struggled to the starboard side and made a jump for the ARKENDALE H. The ARKENDALE H had also been struck by a falling bridge girder which had sliced through the barge just forward of the wheelhouse. Accordingly, personnel and equipment with the Chief Fire Officer in charge assembled at Sharpness at 0700 hours on Saturday the 29th October. Inside George Thompson was struck by a flying object which caused him to lose consciousness for a short time. Steel construction, diesel motor vessel WASTDALE H Gross tonnage 229.33, Net tonnage 132.49 Steel construction, diesel motor vessel ARKENDALE H Gross tonnage 229.18, Net tonnage 112.03. Trying to find the harbour entrance while avoiding collision with other vessels, two of the tankers drifted past Sharpness and found themselves half a mile upstream where the river narrows and the tide flows faster. As the glow persisted a visit was paid to Severn Bridge Station at the side of the river when, u;upon arrival, it was found that the surface of the river was alight as far as could be seen. He was ferried out to the mangled bridge in a small rowing boat, the tide was low at this point, and he captured these dramatic images. He went onto the foreshore and saw the barges and began to hail one of them, but all he got was, “We want a boat”. Each vessel was carrying a crew of four men. A nearby farmer heard his cries for help and helped him back to the warmth of the farmhouse. That day Oliver Powell took his tug, the Resolute, out into the Severn with Captain G T Owen on board. At 0700 hours on the morning of the 28th October the pump and ancillary equipment were assembled on the river bank and the task of transporting them across the flats commenced.

NUMBER OF PUMPS USED TO EXTINGUISH FIRE. At about 10.20, their bows touched and the two vessels were immediately sucked together along their entire length. The, Lionel Keedwell, the 22-year-old son of the licensee of the Berkeley Arms Inn at Purton said that at 8.25pm someone had told him that there appeared to be a boat in difficulty about a mile above the Severn Bridge.

Each barge would complete two round trips a week, or sometimes part of a third if weather and tide conditions were right. Attempts were made to contact the two tanker barges by radio,but received no reply. So that they would not float again both barges were ripped open with explosives. Before the coroner heard any evidence Leslie Farnfield suggested that it might be advantageous to adjourn the inquest until the Board of Trade enquiry had been heard. The court was crowded to its fullest capacity and extra accommodation was provided for the press and other people. The, By 4.30pm that afternoon all crews were busy preparing to move off from their berths and proceed down to the large sea lock ready for the passage back to Sharpness. He agreed with Mr Hieatt that he had obtained his position of master of the barge by promotion in the ordinary way. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.

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