Tragedy of the Lifeboat Mona


At 3:13 am on 8 December 1959, the lifeboat Mona was launched to assist the North Carr Lightship, which was reported adrift in St Andrews Bay, off the coast of Scotland. Weather conditions were exceptionally severe, with a strong south-easterly gale, and the Broughty Ferry lifeboat was the only boat in the area able to launch. The Mona was seen heading out to the North Sea that night and disappeared into the darkness of the night. Her last radio message was at 4:48 am. The lifeboat Mona was found capsized the following morning. Her crew of eight (Ronald Grant, George Smith, Alexander Gall, John Grieve, George Watson, James Ferrier, John T. Grieve and David Anderson) had all drowned.

Colm Flynn talks to songwriter Peggy Seeger, who immortalised the tragedy in her song ‘Lifeboat Mona’, which was later covered by Luke Kelly and the Dubliners.

In this report, Colm also talks to Murray Brown, the coxswain of Broughty Ferry lifeboat, about the story of what happened on that fateful night.