PERSONAL objects donated by survivors of the Piper Alpha disaster 30 years ago form part of a fascinating new exhibition exploring the dangers of life at sea.

Lost on the Tide will feature a Lloyd’s Medal for Saving Life at Sea, awarded to Ardrossan man Peter Sharp, which was recently gifted to the museum by his family.

It will also examine the dangers faced by the brave men and women working around our coasts and the ingenious inventions and lifesaving equipment designed to make us safer at sea.

The exhibit opens this Friday at the Scottish Maritime Museum and runs until Sunday, May 13. Captain Sharp, who was master of the sailing brig ‘Annabella Clark’, an Ardrossan built and registered cargo ship (Barclay & Shearer, Ardrossan), received the medal alongside shipmate John McIntosh.

They were recognised for their actions saving the lives of the crew of French ship ‘Melanie’ when 600 barrels of petroleum she was carrying exploded on the River Adour in southwest France on November 20, 1878.

Chris Walker, Exhibitions and Events Officer at the Scottish Maritime Museum, describes the inspiration behind the new exhibition.

He said: “Roaring waves, howling winds, driving rain; the seas around Scotland’s coasts can be a dangerous place.

“For as long as we’ve travelled along Scotland’s 6,000 miles of coastline and ninety inhabited islands, people have striven to make sure that they and their precious cargo arrive safely at their destination.

“From the fishing fleets of the East coast, through the industrial heartlands of the Clyde and on into the thriving seas around the Western Islands, generations of Scots have looked outwards to the ocean for their livelihoods and prosperity.

“Lost on the Tide looks at how our seas shape our lives and culture, at the dangers faced by sailors around our coasts, and at some of the lifesaving equipment, ingenious inventions and brave men and women who risk their lives to make us safer at sea.”

Lost on the Tide runs at the Scottish Maritime Museum, Harbour Road, Irvine, from Friday, March 2 to Sunday, May 13.

Entry is included in the museum admission fee. Up to three children free with each Adult Admission. For more information, visit