Peggy Tragedy – All Hands Lost
It is with great sadness that I report the tragic loss with all hands of the Thames sailing barge ‘Peggy’whilst on passage across the stormy waters at Setley on Thursday 25th April 2019. She put up a valiant fight but she was on her limits when a sudden blast caught her and laid her on her beam ends. Unable to shed the weight of water from her decks she went to the bottom under full sail.
However, I did have time to take a couple of mental bearings using the racing buoys as reference points as well as a point on shore. I returned the following afternoon with a rubber dinghy, a 10 foot boat hook, a homemade grapnel from 3 wire coat hangers and a willing neighbor. After about 25 minutes rowing against a troublesome wind we found her right where I thought she would be. On reaching the shore and a quick inspection of the vessel I found minimal damage which can be put right in a couple of hours, I am a very lucky and happy man.
I would like to say a big thank you to Nigel, who at the time of the sinking offered encouragement and the use of a 10 foot boat hook. Also to Jim who came all the way from Bournemouth to assist with the recovery by shouting out encouraging tips from the shore like ‘put your bloody back into it’. Thanks also to Pat and Oliver Chapman who photographed the whole event. I am proud to be a member of such a helpful group of people, thanks to all of you.