Rohilla disaster caught on film

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The wreck of the Rohilla is one of Whitby’s most famous maritime disasters, and the Whitby Gazette has secured incredible footage of the ship’s sinking.

The Gazette has teamed up with British Pathe to provide access to the footage, which shows the striken hospital ship off Saltwick Nab on October 30 1914.

Footage shows the wreckage from the cliff tops as well as brave Whitby residents rushing along the beach and diving into the waves to rescue survivors.

Passengers and crew from the vessel are even shown being brought ashore by rescuers, who were made up of the local lifeboat crew and normal Whitby men and women.

October marks the the centenary of the wreck, which saw 85 of the 229 people on board lose their lives.

Rohilla was lost when she ran aground in a severe storm, while en route to Dunkirk to pick up wounded soldiers.

In all, six Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) boats were involved in the rescue attempt.

Throughout the year various events will mark the centenary of the disaster, including an exhibition at Whitby Lifeboat Museum on Pier Road.

See this week’s Whitby Gazette for more details.




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