As I stated in the previous post, most of the Farne Islands are actually just rocky outcrops and the low lying ones make navigating around the area very treacherous indeed.
After many discussions and requests, the Longstone Lighthouse was built in 1826 and was manned by William Darling and his daughter Grace on 7th September 1838 when the paddlesteamer "Forfarshire" hit the nearby rocks at 3am in terrible weather and broke in two.
Knowing the weather was too bad for the lifeboat to leave nearby Seahouses, William and Grace set off in a 21ft rowing boat to help the survivors. They returned to the lighthouse with 4 or 5 survivors (reports differ) and while Grace remained with the sole female survivor, William and the other 3 (or 4 !!) went back and gathered up 4 more.
There were other survivors who managed to leave the ship in a lifeboat but a total of 42 of the 62 people on board, died that night.
Grace Darling, whether because of her age (22) or the fact she was female, became an instant heroine and was praised by the nation and received a large financial reward for her courage.
Last week we passed close to the lighthouse on the boat trip to see the birds on Inner Farne and despite the choppy waves, I managed to get my own photo of it.
The name of Grace Darling is almost as well known here today as that of nursing pioneer, Florence Nightingale but while Florence lived to the ripe old age of 90, Grace died of tuberculosis at 26.