article by Fred Moore
Felix the well known reporter in the 1920’s recorded this disaster in the Folkestone Herald in 1923. He wrote of one of the worst ever sea disasters off the coast of Hythe and Folkestone when the sailing ship Vryheld (Vreede) foundered off Hythe – when 484 on board, men women and seven children, died in November 1802.
There were only 18 survivors, ten of whom were seamen and three soldiers. Hythe hero was a Mr Kemp, risking his own life in storm whipped seas snapped one poor fellow from the deep and was observed to save another, a soldier. Sadly the latter was hit on the head by timber floating in the surf and was drowned.
The ship a Dutch East Indiaman was bound for African from Holland with troops and stores.
Note from Wiki: The East Indiaman was driven ashore and wrecked between Dymchurch and Hythe, Kent, United Kingdom, with the loss of over 400 lives. There were twelve or eighteen survivors. She was on a voyage from Amsterdam to the Cape of Good Hope and Batavia, Dutch East Indies.