Turner witnessed and sketched the aftermath of many shipwrecks and in the course
of one trip abroad even came close to being shipwrecked himself. No-one could doubt the power and danger of the sea on this part of the coast from this dramatic engraved interpretation of Turner's watercolour.
The people crowded around the boats
on the beach are possibly about to attempt
to rescue the latest unfortunate victims from the treacherous waves. Another possible explanation is that they are local inhabitants who made a grim living from salvaging
the wreckage of the doomed ships.