Mother Of Eight Becomes Unlikely Hero After Rescuing Shipwrecked Sailors in Scotland

By: Lydia Iseh | Published: Jul 24, 2023

Have you ever faced a dilemma where your skills and expertise failed you greatly? At that point, after numerous tries at solving your problem, giving up is tempting. One of these types of cases we’ll be looking at—the story of Jane Whyte, the unsung hero who saved lives against all odds.

In October 1884, SS William Hope and its’ crew set sail along Scotland’s coast like every other day. This time, the ship embarked on a routine cargo collection to Burghead. The crew was unaware of the gripping fate that awaited them.

Danger Looming on the Horizon

At around 8 am, the captain sensed danger. The ship quickly accelerated ruthlessly toward rocks. The empty and weightless status of the cargo allowed this to happen effortlessly. 


Source: Dietmar Rabich/Wikimedia Commons

The ship could not stay on track for very long with the small load. As the situation got critical, the sailors decided to modify their course to Aberdour Bay.


The Power of Mother Nature

The ship’s engine soon began to malfunction. Since the ship’s engine had failed, the crew was helpless against the unrelenting winds and seas. Eventually, the ship grounded near the coast, and because the engine had failed, their only choice was to drop anchor. 


Source: Chris Downer/Wikimedia Commons

After the anchor cable gave way, their situation became worse. As a result, the ship was defenseless in the face of the forces of nature. 

Fortune Favors the Crew

However, things started to change when they were close to New Aberdour Beach. Even though the crew could see they were near the beach, they hesitated to enter the water. They had no choice but to be patient, even when everything looked bleak. Luck shone on them as a miracle happened.


Source: Wikipedia

Fortune shined down on them when brave mother of eight Jane Whyte came to their rescue. She fearlessly dove into the dangerous water, drawing the sailors’ attention. Whyte then tied a rope around her waist to save each crew member.

The Good Samaritan Gets Recognized

After rescuing them, Jane took the crew to her house, helping them warm up after the chilly weather. They recovered their strength the following day and could go back home.


Source: RNLI/Pinterest

Jane’s kind deed got her well-deserved attention and recognition—The Royal National Lifeboat Institution awarded her with an honorary distinction. Additionally, a gratified sailor honored her bravery in the poem, “A Brave Woman.”