North Shore: Abana Shipwreck

North Shore: Abana Shipwreck

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 –

Flight over the wreck of the Abana on Blackpool beach at Anchorsholme

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

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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.

Abana Shipwreck on Blackpool beach at Anchorsholme near to Cleveleys
Abana Shipwreck on Blackpool beach at Anchorsholme near to Cleveleys
Ribs of the Abana Shipwreck on Anchorsholme Beach, northern Blackpool
Ribs of the Abana Shipwreck on Anchorsholme Beach, northern Blackpool
Jean Parker shared her photo of the Abana shipwreck taken in 2012 on Thornton Cleveleys Past
Jean Parker shared her photo of the Abana shipwreck taken in 2012 on Thornton Cleveleys Past
Thanks to Visit Fylde Coast Contributor Juliette Gregson for this photo of the Abana Shipwreck
Thanks to Visit Fylde Coast Contributor Juliette Gregson for this photo of the Abana Shipwreck

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.

Abana Shipwreck at Anchorsholme, between Blackpool and Cleveleys
Thanks to Visit Fylde Coast contributor Juliette Gregson for this photo of the wreck of the Abana at Anchorsholme, between Blackpool and Cleveleys

Abana Shipwreck
Wrecked Abana on the beach at Little Bispham/Anchorsholme. Photo posted by Andy Ball in the Thornton Cleveleys Past Facebook Group

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.

Crew of the Abana Shipwreck at the Red Lion, Bispham
Crew of the Abana at the Red Lion Inn at Bispham, recovering after their ordeal. Photo posted on Thornton Cleveleys Past by Dave Hutchinson.

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.

Ships bell from the Abana shipwreck, now in St Andrews Church Cleveleys
Photo posted by Andy Ball on Thornton Cleveleys Past
People inspecting the Abana shipwreck
People in the past, inspecting the Abana wreck, just like we do today. Photo posted on Thornton Cleveleys Past by Andy Ball

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…

If you know anything else about the Abana shipwreck, please get in touch. Email jane@theRabbitPatch.co.uk

Find out More

Have a look at the Live Blackpool website homepage for more of the latest updates.

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