Saturday, 5 January 2013


From Woolmer's Exeter and Plymouth Gazette, February 25th 1815.


"On Saturday last,  as some sailors were strolling in the path-fields leading from Budleigh Salterton to the Signal-house near that place,  they observed a pretty large fish,  called a hake,  washed in by the waves upon the beach below,  and though a fish of little value,  each felt an emulation to secure the prize.   The spot on which they stood was nearly a hundred feet in height above the level of the beach,  from which the cliff rises in an almost perpendicular direction.   Several of them instantly ran to a point from which steps are cut in the cliff,  but one of them,  resolving to reach the beach sooner than the rest,  and setting one hand on the edge of the cliff, turned himself round with his back to the sea and actually precipitated himself down the side of the cliff:;   about five and twenty feet from the bottom, providentially his foot struck against a small ledge of rock,  when his body turned round,  and rebounding with velocity,  he was thrown upon his face and hands, on the beach,  at a few feet distance (sic) from the base of the declivity.   Instead of being killed with the tremendous fall,  he instantly sprang up,  to the utter astonishment of his companions and ran off in pursuit of the fish."

The Gazette does not tell us if the bouncing sailor managed to catch his hake!

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