The Marine School of South Shields, formally South Tyneside College, previously The South Shields Marine & Technical College (and …before that – The Marine School of South Shields)
The college recently celebrated it’s 150th anniversary. It was quite unique in its day being one of the first institutions to provide education for seafarers in order that they could better deal with the rigours of the sea; providing them with training in navigation and engineering to help prevent tragedy and loss of life that was so prevalent at the time the school opened in 1861. It is a brilliant achievement that, in 2012 the college offers some of the most modern and comprehensive marine simulation technology in the world. The college combines a unique blend of traditional experience and forward vision.
On the morning of 18th February 1964 the United States Coast Guard cutter Coos Bay, a 2500 ton
311 ft diesel-powered ship, was steaming in snow squalls and fog off the outer tip of the Grand Banks on her return from a three week winter weather patrol on ocean station BRAVO, located in Davis Strait off Labrador. The crew of 134 Officers, men and weather bureau observers had been alert for drifting icebergs, and now their thoughts were of homecoming two days hence. An emergency broadcast TTT was intercepted by the radio operator, advising that the British motor-ship AMBASSADOR, 7308 gross
tons, with a crew of thirty five aboard was broken down and listing heavily in mountainous seas, some 370 miles south of the COOS BAY. Shortly thereafter and SOS signal was received. Meanwhile, the Commander, Eastern Area, U.S. Coast Guard in New York, had directed the COOS BAY had directed the COOS BAY to proceed and assist. COOS BAY’S maximum speed of 18 knots was soon cut down to 15 by the heavy seas as she plunged south along in the trough, rolling heavily