Two brothers each saved the life of a child in separate incidents at Margate jetty
Alfred’s father and grandfather were mariners, as were his six brothers. Together with three of his brothers, he took part in saving the crew of the Northern Belle. They were considered heroes and received a medals. But Alfred was to die a difficult death, aged just 45, in a mental asylum.
On 5th January 1857, an American sailing ship, the Northern Belle, was en route from New York to London when she was driven on to rocks off the coast of Kent, at the most south eastern point of England. The weather conditions were atrocious with a blizzard blowing and there were 28 men on board the ship.
Amongst those in the rescue boats were Alfred Emptage and his three brothers: George, Charles and Edward. They all survived but their uncle William and cousin John perished.