A NEW book telling of a sea disaster off the South Wales coast has been published.

Archaeology Cymru has launched its latest title, by Penarth author Brian Keitch - No survivors, no witnesses, Just aftermath; the Frolic Packet Steamer Disaster

The former St Cyres pupil has been researching the sinking of the Frolic Paddle Steamer for around 25 years.

The vessel went down on a stormy night of the March 17, 1831.

There were no survivors, just bodies washed up on the shores of the coastline of the Bristol Channel on both sides.

Mr Keitch said: “Back in 1830 the inhabitants of Penarth, Lavernock, and Sully could witness the early steam vessels called packet ships because they transported goods and mail to and from their respective ports.

“One such vessel, the Frolic, had started a service from Haverfordwest, Neyland, Pater, Milford and Tenby to Bristol in October 1830.

Steamships (the railway was still to arrive around here) did not rely on wind as the sailing vessels did, but still had to negotiate weather and tides and had to justify the expense of fuel.

“It was on the fateful evening of March 16, 1831 that captain/commander Edward Jenkins set sail from Tenby to Bristol on an overnight journey.

“Appalling weather had delayed the advertised sailing several times.

“At 4am or thereabouts in darkness the Frolic found the notorious Nash Sands and went to pieces taking with her all hands in the worst passenger disaster on the Mor Hafren/Severn Sea/Bristol Channel.

“As a result, the Nash lighthouses were built and exhibited within a year.”

The Frolic had set out on its final journey on March, 15 with the crew and passengers with them all set to arrive in Bristol, a total contingent onboard of some 80 individuals.

The passengers were a mix of women, men, children, businessmen and traders all the way up to a general and colonel

There were ‘no survivors, no witnesses.'

Only the wreckage alerted residents of the coastline of sinking.

For months bodies were washed up further along the coastline – up to and beyond June 19.

The Frolic Packet Steamer Disaster is available at £14.99 from Amazon.

Copies can be ordered in bookshops and are available for sale in Homemade Wales, in High Street, Barry; in Glyndwr Road Stores, St David's Avenue Estate; AB Snell & Sons, in the Washington Buildings, Stanwell Road, in dPenarth; and Nickeby's bookshop in Llantwit Major.

For details, call 07437 747402 or email archaeologycymru@live.co.uk