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Henry Trengrouse

The inventor of the rocket line apparatus that fired a rope to stricken ships on the rocks, and enabled the crew to be taken off. A Helston cabinet maker, he stood helplessly on the beach at Looe bar near Porthleven on 19 December 1807 when the frigate Anson was driven onto the coast. Nearly a hundred men drowned because they could not bridge the short distance from the wreck to the shore because of the boiling surf. Trengrouse spent the rest of his life and saving in inventing an apparatus that would save men under such circumstances. Inspired by a firework display he tried for many years to perfect a rocket that would fire a light line to a boat, so that the sailors could haul in a heavier rope that would bear the weight of men.

It took ten years to interest the government in it, and eventually they paid him the grand sum of 20 for the invention. he also invented a type of life jacket, and built a model of an unsinkable lifeboat. He died penniless in 1854.

   

       

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