Journal Volume 7 2013

The foundering of the brig “Rival”

 Freeman’s Journal, 30 September 1854


In reference to the loss of the above vessel, the master has published the following statement:- “The Rival sailed from the Clyde on the 2d day of September, 1854, bound for Genoa, with a cargo of iron and coal, from which day, until the 11th of September, nothing of moment Typical Brigoccurred, when we then encountered very heavy weather … with a heavy head sea, and the brig springing a leak. For a considerable time we were able to keep the pumps clear, but the leak gained on us, whereupon we deemed it prudent to bear up for the Channel. When entering the Channel on the 14th day of September, blowing a heavy gale from W.W.S., scudding under a close-reefed topsail with six feet water in ship’s hold, a barque passed us at midnight, bound up Channel, which I hailed, and was answered in English. I stated that our vessel was in a sinking state, and requested to be taken off, or, for the barque to lay by us till daylight. But, notwithstanding our distress, the barque squared away, and left us to our fate. By great, and almost supernatural exertions, we managed to keep our vessel from going down during the night, and until about one o’clock next day, when she foundered. Previous to the vessel sinking, I succeeded in getting the crew into the boats, together with some spirits and bread, and after much difficulty we got safely landed at Greystones that night, wet and fatigued. Upon our boat touching the beach at Greystones, the coast-guards came alongside and seized everything we had, and even permitted the mob ashore to steal the small quantity of provisions left. The seamen were greatly distressed and annoyed at such a reception, and, rather than give the coast-guards the satisfaction of taking the spirits and tobacco, &c., they threw all overboard in their presence. Although wet with the sea washing over us, and very much fatigued, the coast-guard officer denied us all shelter; and, although it was night, we were all obliged to walk on to Bray, about five miles distant, not being able to get lodgings at Greystones. To the captain of the Union, of Wicklow, who took us on board, and gave us dry clothing, I beg to return grateful thanks, on behalf of myself and crew; and also to Mr Marshall, of Dublin, agent for the Shipwrecked Fishermen and Mariners’ Benevolent Society, who provided us with free passages to Belfast.”


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