A terrible drowning tragedy at Greve de Lecq

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A terrible drowning tragedy
at Greve de Lecq


An 1890 painting of Greve de Lecq

There was dramatic news for the first issue of the Evening Post on 30 June 1890

Terrible accident at Greve de Lecq. Four men drowned

Among the duties we are called upon to perform in launching this journal, we regret that we should have to include a terrible accident which happened yesterday afternoon at Greve de Lecq.

This locality is usually associated with pleasure and gaiety; then happy, laughing faces of visitors, and the sounds of merriment make the place bright and joyous. But yesterday all was changed. A dark cloud rested upon the erstwhile happy spot, and sadness took the place of mirth.

A rumour reached town in the evening that four men had been drowned through the upsetting of a boat. It was not at first believed, but gradually it became more definite and a reporter of this journal proceeded to Greve de Lecq to test the accuracy of the report.

Unfortunately he discovered it was only too true. A serious fatality had happened and as nothing else was being spoken of there was no trouble in hearing the details of the case.

Five men named

Five men left Greve de Lecq in a sailing boat early in the afternoon. Their names are Edward Hacquoil, Francis Hacquoil, Samuel Hamon, George Syvret and Thomas England.

The first four were fishermen, but it was not positively known whether or not they had gone out for the purpose of engaging in their avocation. It was currently stated that the men unfortunately had been drinking, but whether this was so or not one thing is certain, that they sailed around Plemont where some of th men landed and procured some liquor at the hotel.

Returning on board the boat, the party started on the return journey to Greve de Lecq. About half past three o’clock the boat was running before the wind, the mainsheet is said tohave been tightly fastened, and the occupants of the boat were apparently enjoying themselves. Suddenly the wind caught the sail and before any precautionary measures could be taken the boat capsised and the five luckless men found themselves in the water.

The accident was witnessed from the land and alarm was speedily given. From Greve de Lecq a boat manned by two men, one of them a son of Edward Hacquoil, put off to rescue but it was half an hour or so after the accident before the fatal spot was reached.

When at last they got there, Edward Hacquoil and Hamon had disappeared, while Francis Hacquoil was picked up dead. Syvret was still alive when dragged into the boat but he breathed his last while being carried ashore.

England was found clinging to the capsised baot. He was much exhausted through having been so long in the water but his life was saved by the care and attention bestowed upon him. The two bodies were carried ashore and placed in readiness for the inquest which was fixed for this evening.

The sad occurrence is rendered the more melancholy by the number of children who will thus be deprived of a father’s care.

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