The original designs for this unrealised scheme for the East Coast were executed
in watercolour on blue/grey paper. Turner liked experimenting with different toned papers which enabled him to achieve startling effects with intense white bodycolour highlights on the darker
ground. The engraver, JC Allen, has similarly made a feature of these highlights. The foaming waves and partially illuminated stormy sky provide a fittingly dramatic backdrop to the events being played out
in the foreground. A beleaguered ship in difficulty off the treacherous Suffolk coast would have been a common sight for inhabitants of coastal regions.