1877

A ‘Testimonial Inscribed on Vellum’ was presented by the RNLI to Coxswain Charles Searle in recognition of his gallantry and determination during services at the wreck of the brigantine John Douse on 11 November.’

It was reported that a vessel was ashore off Sandown. It was blowing a hurricane from the south with thick rain. The City of Worcester lifeboat was taken over land and arrived about midnight, and launched at about 0130. After having difficulty in locating the John Douse because of the intense darkness, the lifeboat succeeded in saving the master and the mate. A tremendous sea then swept the boat off before any others could be rescued. As the steer-oar touched the ground when the boat was in the hollow of the surf, Coxswain Searle deemed it inadvisable to approach the wreck again until daylight. The lifeboat remained near the vessel during the night. Coxswain Searle was washed over board in the night and was rescued with great difficulty due to darkness and heavy seas. At dawn the lifeboat was backed towards her, when it was discovered that a coastguard galley had by that time been launched and was rescuing the other four men.