At low tide on the beach at Anchorsholme (at the northernmost end of Blackpool near to Cleveleys seafront) you can see wood sticking out of the sand. It’s the remains of the Abana shipwreck from long ago.
The Abana Shipwreck Today
The sands of the beach shift about every day. Depending on tidal conditions beach levels raise and lower, so you’ll usually see the wooden ribs of the Abana wreck, emerging from the sand at low tide. Watch this video clip of a flight over the wreck of the Abana, by Loopdreams –
How much you can see of the Abana shipwreck on any given day will vary. When it’s windy and the sea’s rough, the sand gets scoured away so you can see more of the wreck. When it’s calm for a while, the sand level increases around it to cover it up. You can usually see at least something sticking out of the sand.
How to find the Abana Shipwreck
Travel along the seafront to the new Anchorsholme sea defence works. It’s the newly constructed piece of sea wall against Anchorsholme Park.
The height of the road was lifted to reduce flood risk, so head for this highest bit and look straight out to sea. When the tide is out, you’ll see pieces of wood sticking out of the sand, reasonably far out into the beach.
History of the Abana Shipwreck
Thanks to the Thornton Cleveleys Past Facebook Group and their members for some of these photos. If you aren’t a member, join now because it’s full of fascinating local history.
The Abana set sail from Liverpool to Savello in Florida, loaded with a 500 tonne cargo of ballast to be unload for timber. Unfortunately, she was caught in a storm in the Irish Sea on 22nd December 1894, then later spotted at 3pm drifting in a northwesterly direction with her sails torn to shreds.
The crew mistook Blackpool Tower for a lighthouse. The ship was first spotted floundering at North Pier, and ended up drifting north to be wrecked off Little Bispham at 5pm.
Thanks to Visit Fylde Coast contributor Juliette Gregson for this photo of the wreck of the Abana at Anchorsholme, between Blackpool and Cleveleys
Cleveleys Hotel to the Rescue
The alarm was raised by the landlord of the Cleveleys Hotel, flares were fired and the lifeboat was called out. Due to the awful weather, the Blackpool lifeboat Samuel Fletcher had to be taken 7 miles (11 km) overland to Bispham before it could be launched.
The Abana crew of 17 were all taken on board the lifeboat, along with its own crew of 16, plus the ships dog which belonged to Captain Danielson. The weight of passengers grounded the lifeboat on a sandbank while returning to shore, so some of the crew members pushed it afloat and they reached shore safely. All were taken to the Red Lion Inn to recover from their ordeal.
The ships bell and dog were given to the landlord of the Cleveleys Hotel, who had raised the alarm. The bell now hangs in St. Andrew’s Church in Cleveleys.
Ironically, this is almost the same spot on the beach where the Riverdance Ferry famously ran aground in 2008.
At the boundary between Cleveleys and Blackpool is the shipwreck memorial to all the ships which have wrecked off the Fylde Coast. Both the Abana and Riverdance are listed on there.
Carry on Reading…
- Cleveleys seafront
- The Riverdance Shipwreck
- Shipwreck Memorial on Cleveleys promenade
- Thornton Cleveleys Past Facebook Group
If you know anything else about the Abana shipwreck, please get in touch. Email jane@theRabbitPatch.co.uk
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