Abana Shipwreck on Blackpool beach at Anchorsholme near to Cleveleys

Bpl North Shore: see the Abana Shipwreck

At low tide on the beach at Anchorsholme (at the northernmost end of Blackpool near to Cleveleys seafront) you can see wood sticking out of the sand. It’s the remains of the Abana shipwreck from long ago.

Head to Princes Way, it’s the promenade next to Anchorsholme Park. You can use postcode FY5 1AF to find it.

We took a walk out to it at low tide one morning in August 2020 to take a closer look –

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The Abana Shipwreck Today

The sands of the beach shift about every day. Depending on tidal conditions, beach levels raise and lower. But you can usually see the wooden ribs of the Abana wreck, emerging from the sand at low tide.

Abana Shipwreck on Blackpool beach at Anchorsholme near to Cleveleys
View of the Abana Shipwreck on Blackpool beach at Anchorsholme near to Cleveleys, seen from Princes Way
Abana shipwreck, copyright Visit Fylde Coast
Close-up of the Abana shipwreck, copyright Visit Fylde Coast

History of the Abana Shipwreck

Thanks to the Thornton Cleveleys Past Facebook Group and their members for some of these photos. If you aren’t a member, join now because it’s full of fascinating local history.

Jean Parker shared her photo of the Abana shipwreck taken in 2012 on Thornton Cleveleys Past
Jean Parker shared her photo of the Abana shipwreck taken in 2012 on Thornton Cleveleys Past

The Abana set sail from Liverpool to Savello in Florida, loaded with a 500 tonne cargo of ballast to be unload for timber. On 22nd December 1894, she was unfortunately caught in a storm in the Irish Sea. Later spotted at 3pm drifting in a northwesterly direction with her sails torn to shreds.

The crew mistook Blackpool Tower for a lighthouse. The ship is first spotted floundering at North Pier. She’s then seen drifting north, to be wrecked off Little Bispham at 5pm that day.

The Abana, wrecked on the beach. Photo with thanks to Juliette Gregson
The Abana, wrecked on the beach. Photo with thanks to Juliette Gregson
Abana Shipwreck
Wrecked Abana on the beach at Little Bispham/Anchorsholme. Photo posted by Andy Ball in the Thornton Cleveleys Past Facebook Group

Cleveleys Hotel to the Rescue

It was the landlord of the Cleveleys Hotel who raised the alarm.

Flares were fired and the lifeboat was called out. The weather is so awful on that fateful night, that the Blackpool lifeboat ‘Samuel Fletcher’ is taken 7 miles (11 km) overland to Bispham before it’s launched.

Did you know? The Samuel Fletcher was later used as a pleasure cruiser at Stanley Park lake. It also hosted an escapology stunt!

The Abana crew of 17 were all taken on board the lifeboat, along with its own crew of 16, plus the ships dog which belonged to Captain Danielson. The weight of passengers grounded the lifeboat on a sandbank while returning to shore, so some of the crew members pushed it afloat and they reached shore safely. All of the mariners went to the Red Lion Inn to recover from their ordeal.

Crew of the Abana Shipwreck at the Red Lion, Bispham
Crew of the Abana at the Red Lion Inn at Bispham, recovering after their ordeal. Photo posted on Thornton Cleveleys Past by Dave Hutchinson.

The ship’s bell (and dog) were later given to the landlord of the Cleveleys Hotel, who’d first raised the alarm. The bell now hangs in St. Andrew’s Church in Cleveleys.

The bell from the Abana. Photo thanks to Andy Ball/Thornton Cleveleys Past
The bell from the Abana. Photo thanks to Andy Ball/Thornton Cleveleys Past

Alan Nyberg got in touch to tell us that his grandfather, John Edward Nyberg, was on the Abana. Alan says “Thank God they all got off OK”. John was a crew member – they’d picked up ballast from Northumberland dock and were going to Florida USA where they would off load it to bring back timber. But they got caught in a big storm and wrecked in Blackpool.

People inspecting the Abana shipwreck
People in the past, inspecting the Abana wreck, just like we do today. Photo posted on Thornton Cleveleys Past by Andy Ball

Here’s another video clip of a flight over the wreck of the Abana. This one is by Loopdreams –

A Modern Shipwreck

Ironically, this is almost the same spot on the beach where the Riverdance Ferry famously ran aground in 2008.

Riverdance Shipwreck. Copyright Visit Fylde Coast
Riverdance Shipwreck

There’s also a tribute nearby to all of the ships which have run aground off the Fylde Coast. At the boundary between Cleveleys and Blackpool is the shipwreck memorial. Take a look – you’ll find the Abana and Riverdance listed on there.

Shipwreck memorial on the seafront where Anchorsholme meets Cleveleys
Shipwreck memorial on the seafront where Anchorsholme meets Cleveleys

If you know anything else about the Abana shipwreck, please get in touch. Email jane@theRabbitPatch.co.uk

While you’re here…

Have a look at the homepage of the Live Blackpool website for more of the latest updates.

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2 thoughts on “Bpl North Shore: see the Abana Shipwreck”

  1. ANOTHER INTERESTING VIDEO WITH GREAT COMMENTARY WE WERE IN ANCHORSHOLME YESTERDAY AND HAPPEND TO BE LOOKING AT THE ABANA WRECK FROM THE CAR PARKING AREA, WATCHING A FEW PEOPLE WALKING DOWN TO THE WATERS EDGE WITH THEIR DOGS AND ENJOYING THE SUNSHINE ITS GREAT NOW WITH THE IMROVEMENTS OF THE NEW SEA WALL ALONG THE FRONT ,MUCH BETTER THAN FOREIGN SHORES .

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