IF you’re ever tempted to forget just how wild and rough the waters off the North Yorkshire coast can sometimes get, just take a look at these photographs.

It is not only ships that have occasionally found themselves running aground: it is whales, too.

Our first two dramatic photographs show the Coronation, stranded off Ravenscar in January 1913.

The photos, like all those reproduced today, come from local author and historian Robin Lidster's wonderful book Burniston To Ravenscar Through Time.

The Coronation, which was bound from Bremen to Sunderland, “was caught in a strong south-easterly gale and, only carrying ballast, became impossible to steer”, Robin writes.

“In a blinding snowstorm (it) ran broadside into the rocks at Ravenscar.”

More than 450 charges of gelignite were used to try and blast an escape channel and 100 tones of cement to seal the hull.

“Four tugs attempted to pull her clear but without success.

“In September, after being declared a total insurance loss, she was refloated, but burnt out in dry dock whilst under repair at Hartlepool a month later!”

Unlike the Coronation, the Torni, which ran aground at Hayburn Wyke in 1946, was heavily laden, carrying a cargo of pit props from the Baltic to Hartlepool.

“In thick fog the vessel narrowly missed a racing yacht and ran aground,” Robin writes.

“Part of the cargo had to be thrown overboard in order to refloat the vessel.

“The pit props became a serious hazard to the local coble fishermen as they floated along the coast.” The two whales which were washed ashore at Cloughton Wyke in 1910 weren’t a hazard to coble fishermen – but they may well have been a health hazard, by today’s standards at least.

The first, a lesser rorqual measuring 51 feet long, became stranded high up on the beach in March.

It was, Robin writes, a rare occurrence and “proved of great interest to local people”.

Imagine their surprise, therefore, when in September the same year a second whale carcass washed ashore – this time an even bigger specimen, measuring 72 feet long.

“Local people remembered that their relatives at Brompton, nine miles away, could smell the whale when the wind was in the wrong direction!” Robin writes.

The whale had to be cut up, and the pieces hauled up the cliff by rope and pulley before being buried in the fields with lime brought by horse from Seamer.

• Burniston To Ravenscar Through Time, by Robin Lidster, is published by Amberley, priced £14.99