The people of Whitby were soon aware that a large ship had foundered on The Scar, and efforts were made to give what assistance they could. Calls went from the Ambulance Brigade for all kinds of items : food, beverages, blankets, vacuum flasks and bandages. People with vehicles were asked to be available to drive survivors to the Cottage Hospital or temporary accommodation. Mrs Agar offered the stone hut on the cliff top, which she used as a café in the season. It was taken over as an emergency hospital. Hoteliers offered free accommodation. Scouts, guides and other organisations helped where needed. Volunteers were set to work collecting firewood from the beach and gathering rainwater for use in the emergency hospital.
Many more people just stood by and watched, and their number grew by the hour as the news spread.
Hundreds flocked up the steep stone staircase and on top of the East Cliff. They passed St. Mary’s Church and the Abbey ruins, they spread out along the edge to Saltwick Nab, a mile away, where they could look down on the wreck.
Copyright © Ken Wilson 1981