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In the first Catalogue of paintings in John Sheepshanks' collection and in later catalogues, the title given to this piece was not as in the RA catalogue and as given by the very&A, but as "Vessel in Distress off Yarmouth". Although Turner's own title does not specifically cite Yarmouth, the location has never been doubted.
The boat painting Manby apparatus, named after its inventor George Manby (1765-1854), was a method of lifesaving from a shipwreck by firing a stone at the end of a rope from a mortar on the shore, and was developed after he witnessed a disastrous wreck at Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, in 1807.
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