On this day on 16th of July 1832 31 Shetland “sixerns” (a traditional fishing boat with a crew of 6) and a total of 105 crewmen were lost in a storm. The event is still remembered as “The Bad Day”. A London Distress Fund was set up and raised the sum of £3000.95 The money was raised for the dependants of the crofter-fishermen lost. The crew of one boat did manage a lucky escape from the storm as they were picked up by a passing American sloop. However, the Captain of the American vessel refused to alter his course to Philadelphia and so, despite passing close to Orkney, the survivors had to cross the Atlantic and endure a further six months away from home before returning.( Scot Clans )
The loss of lives to Shetland fishing communities occurred many times including The Gloup Disaster of 21 July 1881 recorded in Papers Past.
Under the wide and starry sky,
Dig the grave and let me lie.
Glad did I live and gladly die,
And I laid me down with a will.
This be the verse you grave for me:
Here he lies where he longed to be;
Home is the sailor, home from sea,
And the hunter home from the hill.
Robert Louis Stevenson 1850 – 1894