At about 1 a.m. on the 9th April, the Coastguard reported that rockets were being fired from the Tongue Light- Vessel ; the crew of the Life-boat Civil Service No. 1 were thereupon summoned and the boat was as soon as possible launched. The weather was squally, the wind blowing with the force of a moderate gale, and there was a moderate sea. On speaking the Tongue Lightship it was ascertained that she was answering signals made by the Princes Channel Light-Vessel and that a flare had been seen bearing W.N. W., apparently shown by a vessel on the Shingles. The boat then proceeded to the Princes Channel Lightship and was informed that a brigantine had been aground on the Shingles, but had floated soon after one o'clock and proceeded towards the North Foreland. The Life-boat went in search of the vessel, found her lying at anchor, and asked the master whether any assistance was required. He replied that he had desisted from pumping in order to ascertain to what extent the vessel was leaking, and he asked that the Life-boat might remain by. In about half-an-hour's time the pumps were tried and it was found that the water was gaining at the rate of about four inches an hour. He then engaged the Lifeboatmen to take the vessel into harbour.
Some of them boarded her, pumped her dry, got up her remaining anchor, the other having been lost when she stranded, and made sail for Faversham, for which port she was bound, arriving there at about 6.30 p.m. The Life-boat had meanwhile returned to her station where she arrived at 9 a.m. The vessel was the Mary Johns, of Fowey, coal laden, from Swansea, and manned by a crew of seven men..