From the Coastguard Station, Jefferies watched helplessly as the ship turned towards the shore. She was now heading straight for another danger.
The Scar at Whitby is a shelf of rock running out from the base of the East Cliff. At one time cliffs towered 200 feet above the Scar but they have long since been eroded away, leaving the strata of rock which was too hard to be crumbled by the waves.
Saltwick Nab is the last remnant of those cliffs which survived, but it reduces in size each year.
The Scar stretches for about a mile between the East Pier and Saltwick Nab. When the tide is out in Summer it is possible to walk out to its jagged edge about 500 – 600 yards from the cliff face. That edge joins Whitby Rock and together they present a face of unyielding rock to the sea. It plunges to a depth of 40 feet and near the Nab it is almost sheer drop.
The Ship’s curving course would take her inevitably on to that jagged edge.
Copyright © Ken Wilson 1981