Coastguard Chief Officer Davy and his Rocket Brigade manhandled their apparatus down the cliff and out to the end of the Nab as soon as it was light. By about 6.30 they were in position and confidently fired off the first rocket line. It fell short. In the pouring rain the line had become soaked and heavy. In quick succession they fired eleven more. None of them reached the ship. They kept on trying, and some straddled the bow, which by then had broken away and nobody could get to them. Fresh supplies of rockets with dry lines were obtained and finally one caught on the end of the bridge.
A crewman named Mackintosh, whom the Captain said : “deserved a V.C.”, volunteered to crawl out along the boom, which was being constantly lashed by the waves, to try and secure the line. After a perilous journey, when several times it seemed he would be swept away, Mackintosh succeeded in tying the line to a bridge support. Then the line snapped and he fell in the sea.
Copyright © Ken Wilson 1981