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Discussion Starter #1
Hi

I've been doing some local history research into various aspects of Crosby, Liverpool, and have been studying a tragic event when three young schoolboys drowned at Crosby beach on 17 July 1893. They'd gone on the beach at near to low tide, then got stranded on a sandbank, possibly caught in mud, on an incoming tide with an unseasonal strong north-west wind whipping up the sea. What should have been a relatively uncomplicated rescue attempt sadly failed for two of the boys, with the third rescued by the remarkable efforts of a bystander, who swam out several hundred yards in strong currents and high waves, and got one boy back to shore. For this, Eyton Owen was awarded a Liverpool Shipwreck and Humane Society gold medal (the same that Captain Roston of Carpathia got). It was a spring tide, five days after New Moon.

My question is this:
The newspaper and inquest reports are clear that the alarm was raised at about 1pm, and the attempted rescue lasted at least 30 minutes, but not much longer. I can't find tide charts for Crosby or Liverpool for that day, but I can find them for Cardiff. And I see that Liverpool is usually about 1 hour 20 minutes ahead of Cardiff. By that calculation, low tide would have been after 2pm at Crosby. Yet the newspaper and inquest accounts seem clear that the boys were swept away in a rising tide (and a stronger tide than normal, presumably due to tidal surge with the winds).

So, am I incorrect in assuming a low tide at about 2pm for Crosby on that date? Or could a surge tide, with strong winds and low pressure over land, cause the tide in Crosby, coupled with local conditions, the river, etc, to arrive much earlier than normal?

Thanks so much for your expert advice.
 

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In ball-park tems, the biggest tides (or spring-tides) at Crosby occur at mid-day and midnight.

Thus, low-water at 2pm is inconsistent with a spring tide, in any weather conditions .

More information is needed in order to make sense of the timings.

Hope this might help.

A good start might be in looking again at your tidal information for Cardiff, where high water is (again in ball-park terms) about 4 hours before high water at Liverpool (or Crosby). Am not sure what your "1 hr 20mins ahead of Cardiff" might mean.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Grateful thanks

Thanks so much for your advice.

I was trying to compare yesterday's Cardiff and Liverpool tide difference, and thought that seemed about 1 hour 20 minutes. And then tried to apply that to July 17 1893 where Cardiff high tide was 9.50am and 1008pm according to the local newspaper of the time.

I was obviously misunderstand Cardiff versus Liverpool. So if on 17 July 1893 Cardiff High tide of 930 am was 4 hours before Liverpool, then the boys would have been caught by the top end of the tide in its last hour of advance, and with its already Spring height enhanced by the wind. Once the tide had overtopped the sandbank, rough seas took them away.
 

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Hi



Thanks so much for your expert advice.

Ah! I see what you are wanting. Your 'calculations' are likely very 'wrong'. You need to have the EXACT tide times for Crosby, spring tides, neap tides, range of the tide etc and most importantly for the exact date and time. You need to contact the Hydrographic Office (look for www.) Even back from the 1800s they will still have copies from then. Check with them, they are completely helpful. Another possible, local newspapers from the date. Quite possible the tide condition was in the papers for every day.

Stephen
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks

Thanks once again for all your help!

Ah! I see what you are wanting. Your 'calculations' are likely very 'wrong'. You need to have the EXACT tide times for Crosby, spring tides, neap tides, range of the tide etc and most importantly for the exact date and time. You need to contact the Hydrographic Office (look for www.) Even back from the 1800s they will still have copies from then. Check with them, they are completely helpful. Another possible, local newspapers from the date. Quite possible the tide condition was in the papers for every day.

Stephen
 

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#6

Stephen is entirely right that any more accurate information from any source will help.

But the suggestion given - that "once the tide had overtopped the (nearby) sandbank" the approaching seas swept away those who were lost - is likely to be much more than mere speculation.

Locals have been heard to observe that, laterally as opposed to vertically, the spring tides rush in "faster than a horse can run". The fate of the two boys is only too easy to picture.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks

Thanks, yes I have seen photos, both period and current, showing a fairly rough sea out in the channel, and a calm flat inland lagoon to the shore side of a sandbank (technically intertidal ridge), which even remains calm when the incoming sea has just overtopped it. And then, I guess, the big waves will suddenly start getting through. Scary.
 

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The incoming tide over the sandbank at Hoylake for example is always far choppier than the sheltered water in front of it obviously but also the general tide state further out (incoming). With a strong following wind it would be hell on earth, especially of you couldn't swim and try your luck in calmer water in front of the sand bank.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Recent similar situation

There was a scarily similar rescue last month on Crosby beach. A flat beach, patches of soft muddy sand, and a big tide are still a lethal combination, even with modern rescue equipment.
 

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