Journal Volume 7 2013

An incident at sea

The Irish Times, 11 February 1861


The Mary, a brigantine, of Warrenpoint, port of Newry, went ashore near the Railway Station-house here, and just opposite Killincarrig House, the seat of Sir Vincent Hawkins Whitshed, Bart., on Saturday, about one o’clock. A hurricane was blowing at the time, and no boat could possibly live in the sea at the time. As far as the spectators could judge, the vessel was about seventy-five tons burden, and she was laden with coal. Four of the men were in the rigging, and one on deck. Almost all the inhabitants of the village were upon the beach, and ready to offer assistance, but to no avail. Such was the violence of the storm that no assistance could be given the crew from land, and they all perished, within one hundred yards of the shore. No communication could be had with the unfortunate men. Their names are not known, nor was the port from which they came. But had the vessel been of ordinary strength, so as to withstand the violence of the storm for a quarter of an hour or so, there is no doubt whatever that the coastguard, with the Malby apparatus, would have been able to save the lives of the crew.

At present only a small portion of the vessel can be seen; no bodies have been washed ashore, but a portion of the sails, anchors, rigging and spars have been found and are in the custody of the coastguard …

As soon as the vessel was seen to be in danger, the mortar and life apparatus, under the direction of the Board of Trade was placed in readiness, but although the vessel did not strike upon a rocky point, such was her rottenness that she parted in two in a few minutes …

We understand that several other wrecks have occurred upon the Eastern coast, during the late storm, but as the railway communication between Bray and Wicklow has been interrupted by the storm, we have not yet heard the particulars.


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