By John Cruickshank
SOME 145 years ago to the day, four crewmen were lost from Stonehaven lifeboat St.George as she entered Aberdeen Harbour having attempted to provide assistance to the sailing ship Grace Darling which was in distress.
The following is an extract from the information plaque near the headstone which was erected in memory of the crew that lost their lives that day. The headstone can be seen in the graveyard of the Chapel of Our Lady of the Storms, above Cowie village, nestled below the Golf course on Garron Point.
”From the Chapel of our Lady of the Storms the North Sea may be viewed in all its moods, and within the sheltering walls of the kirkyard rest many who depended on these waters for their livelihood. Numerous tombstones, some adorned with ships and anchors stand in memory of seamen and fishermen. Many of these men lost their lives at sea.
”Close to the west gable of the chapel is a prominent memorial to the crew of the Stonehaven lifeboat, St George, who died on 27 February 1874, whilst going to the rescue of the barque, Grace Darling. When distress signals were spotted, the crew launched the lifeboat in heavy seas and rowed frantically to help the barque which was being swept northwards. The lifeboat crew was unable to overtake the barque and had to abandon the mission at Aberdeen.
”Tragically, the lifeboat capsized as it entered Aberdeen harbour with the loss of the coxswain and three crew members. Two of these courageous men are buried here at Cowie, one at Nigg and one at Belhelvie.”