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 Rockets Used in Rescues 
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Post Rockets Used in Rescues
While looking for information on Manby's Rocket Firing Apparatus, I came across this webpage: John Dennett: Isle of Wight Rocket Man. It features some details about how rockets were used to carry light lifelines out to ships in distress.

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susan


Fri Oct 07, 2005 6:24 am
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That's an interesting link, Susan; thanks. It's not a subject I know much about, I confess, and I hadn't realised Manby was a "Norfolk man" and that such rockets were used so early on in the 18thC.

You continue to educate me...:)

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Sat Oct 08, 2005 1:35 pm
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Ship saved by Rocket Apparatus

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Tue Nov 21, 2006 8:51 am
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Thanks for that, Susie. I've been hunting around in The Times for a little more information and have been unsuccessful to date. However, I did come across, in the issue of 23rd January 1815, where they were testing something similar on a minor scale. Captain Manby was there, btw.

" ....an experiment was made...on the Serpentine River, in the presence of a few scientific persons, to discover what practical improvement might be made in a portable apparatus (intended to be kept in readiness at the Canal in St James's Park during the frost, where this is neither boat or any other arrangement for affording assistance at that perilous time), for saving persons who may fall through the ice. ... a thin copper case, three feet by two, covered by basket work, to protect it from injury, in which the air was closely confined, gave a buoyancy sufficient to support a folding ladder, with two men placed on it.... Captain Manby further proposed, in cases where the distance precluded assistance by ordinary means, to project a rope by a rocket to the persons in jeopardy....."

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Wed Nov 22, 2006 11:14 am
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Seeing as Captain George William Manby has cropped up again I searched for an entry in ODNB and found to my delight that not only was he a "Norfolk man", he actually came from Denver, near Downham Market which is about 12 miles from where I live. It also says he was at school in the town with another "Norfolk man" - Nelson, no less. However, there has always been a bit of debate about whether, in fact, Nelson did go to school in Downham, so I'm trying to have that clarified.

Manby was an army officer and the son of an army officer, but his brother Thomas was a naval officer who sailed with Captain George Vancouver in the Discovery.

Apparently George Manby's interest in the saving of lives from wrecks was triggered when he saw the Snipe go down off Great Yarmouth in 1807.

With reference to my last post about rescue from ice in winter, it would be interesting to get hold of a copy of his
A description of instruments, apparatus, and means for saving persons from drowning who break through the ice
published in 1832.

Following Susan's example of putting a face to a name, here is a link to the NPG entries which I hope works.

Susan, with your talent for finding stuff, are you able to find one of brother Thomas, please?

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Fri Nov 24, 2006 2:48 pm
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Haven't found any pics of Thomas yet. Here's another one of George.

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Mon Dec 04, 2006 7:06 am
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A "Rocket Life Saving apparatus" (1808) was developed by Henry Trengrouse of Helston in Cornwall. It seems he was the first to use a rocket device. The navy showed interest in it after he exhibited it at Woolwich in 1818. It was portable and was meant to be carried on board ships to fire a line to shore.

Trengrouse also developed a type of cork lifejacket.

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Fri Mar 09, 2007 5:36 pm
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At Berry Head, overlooking Torbay, there is a surviving 19thC rocket pillar used for these lifelines. Next time I'm up there (or passing it in a boat) I'll try to get a photo.

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Fri May 11, 2007 4:13 pm
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