A recent visitor to Gloucester, Mary Louise Downey, reached out to GMG recently wondering if we were aware of a plaque somewhere in the City commemorating the 1905 arrival of Uraed, the first enclosed lifeboat to cross the Atlantic after a 5 month journey. I immediately began to research this intriguing event. Although I have not yet found a plaque, I did find the story fascinating.
The Uraed was built in 1904 in Norway by Ole Brude in an effort to design a safer lifeboat. It was his intention to sail it across the Atlantic from Norway in time for the World’s Fair in St. Louis in 1904. Apparently the voyage went pretty smoothly for Brude and his 3 man crew for the first part of the journey, but then trouble set in and the trip took longer than expected and they missed the World’s Fair. They landed in St. John’s NF first but wished to reach New York so set sail again, this time into wicked winter storms. The Uraed and its crew landed on Pavilion Beach in January of 1905.
Brude did succeed in designing a safer lifeboat and this adventure made news headlines around the world. One of the crew, Iver Thorsesen, remained in Gloucester and became a citizen according to the Gloucester Daily Times account of the 2005 commemoration (Jan 5 2005). There is a good account and some pictures available online here. There is also a free ebook available in Google Books available here.
Although I found no evidence (yet) of the plaque, this historic event is another marine related story that brought worldwide attention to Gloucester. Cheer Ole Brude and crew! Thanks Mary Louise for bringing it to our attention!
Gloucester Daily Times Jan 9 1905 after a bad winter storm:
Gloucester Daily Times Jan 5 2005 for the commemoration: