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National Trust staff and volunteers get close to Pegu and Ionic Star but don’t find any whisky bottl


A brilliant wreck walk when National Trust staff and volunteers get close to ship wrecks on Formby shore, Pegu and Ionic Star but don’t find any whisky bottles!

With negotiations presently in hand between Sefton MBC and the National Trust for the possible transfer of the Lifeboat Road and Ravenmeols Nature reserves to the Trust, a special briefing walk was arranged by John Dempsey of Sefton for the Trust staff and volunteers.

Since the tides were very low, the walkers, in wellies of course, met John at Lifeboat Road Car Park on Friday 10th March. The target – to get as close as possible to the Ionic Star and Pegu wrecks on the Formby shoreline.

Both met their fate within five weeks in October and November 1939 when navigation lights were reduced in the early days of World War 2. No lives were lost and most of the precious cargoes were saved. However – John Dempsey confirmed that it was most unlikely that the walkers would find any of the Pegu’s cargo of whisky! He said that the bottles had corks which would have perished but the odd empty bottle is still found. The tale is that locals would stash bottles in rabbit holes for later recovery!

National Trust Volunteer, Chris Vere said: "It was a brilliant walk. John has a splendid knowledge of the coastline and in due course, the Trust hopes that it will be able to pass on some of this knowledge to locals, to schools and to Trust members from other parts of the country."

Wreck of the Ionic Star - Top photo is closer to Ionic Star - Photo by Chris Vere

The channel prevents access at all but the very lowest of tides. - Photo by Chris Vere

John Dempsey briefs the National Trust group before the walk over the shoreline. - Photo by Chris Vere

Dressed for the task – John Dempsey from Sefton. He advises that no one should approach the wrecks without an experienced guide. - Photo by Chris Vere

Pegu silhouette - there’s no safe approach! - Photo by Chris Vere

All photos by Chris Vere of National Trust

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