The Coastguard Cutter Vol3 No2

February 2005
Vol. 3 - No.2.




It was not always money that was offered and another temptation for the unwary Coastguard can be imagined from the Order, in the Brighton District in 1831. ‘There being reason to fear that an attempt will be made to corrupt our men through the medium of females, it is my direction that patrols hold no communication with any person either male or female’

CG Station

Thanks to Roger Mac William

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Wit and Wisdom of Ireland.

"There is nothing wrong with our climate,

except the weather."


Ballycotton. January 26th.

 I hasten to acquaint you that at one p.m. yesterday, then blowing quite a gale with tremendous sea, a vessel was discovered from here, bearing south about 1 league, apparently in distress- and at about 2 o’clock she struck on Ballycotton Island from whence I had the satisfaction of seeing Lt. Lloyd RN, Officer commanding the Water Guard here, bring off the crew consisting of the Captain and 8 men, all Spaniards, the crew originally consisting of 10 men, one of whom perished in his attempt to save himself. The brig immediately went to pieces. She proved to be the brig ‘Capucho’ of Bilboa, 17 days from thence, bound to Bristol, with a cargo of wheat, consigned to Messrs Powel & Co., of Bristol. The crew are at the house of Lt. Lloyd, where they are treated with kindness and every attention- they are destitute of clothing, only a few articles on them – but they have been provided by their host with a change, and other necessary nourishment. It is impossible for them to proceed for a day or two to the Consul, as some of the poor fellows are much exhausted.


On the 19th.inst the men belonging to the Preventive Service at East Looe, under command of Lt. Lawrence RN captured 20 tons of contraband spirits, in a boat which was managed by one man, who is now in custody. (7)

Dear Friend,

Welcome to the February edition of "The Coastguard Cutter".

A little bit of bad news just arrived from Ballyheigue, Co.Kerry. It seems that a small private Maritime Museum has closed due to lack of support. This is very unfortunate as the old Curracloe Coastguard Station Rocket Cart, in very fine condition, was housed there and I wonder what its future will be. A missing link to the past as it was used till recent years in many rescue attempts.

This month a few examples of the types of work the Coastguards met with on a daily basis.



Cove of Cork. Jan 2nd. The brig Liverpool Packet, Richmond, of Virginia, with a cargo of flour, and lying in the harbour, awaiting orders, took fire on Monday in the cabin at 3 p.m: on a signal of distress being given, assistance was dispatched from H.M. ships ‘Semiramis’ and ‘Victor’, from the Revenue Department, the boats of the Water-Guard and several from the shore. By the greatest exertion and the most imminent personal risk, the vessel being in a blaze of fire, they succeeded in saving part of the cargo and materials, which are deposited in a house near Aghada. The vessel continued burning all night, and this morning several boats and lighters have gone to her assistance. (1)


Fatal Accident – Bray. December 22nd.

February 1912. The SS 'Sligo' ran aground at Ardboline Island off Raughly, Co.Sligo in a storm. She was returning from Garson with a cargo of coal. Her crew of 13 including Captain James Devaney scrambled ashore on the Island at low water by means of ladders from their fore-deck. Due to the weather conditions their plight was unnoticed until the following morning when they were rescued by members of the Raughly Coastguard. At that stage the steamer had slipped astern off the Island. With the roads partially blocked by snow-drifts the crew of the ill-fated 'Sligo' (11) set out on foot on the long trek to Sligo and Rosses Point. Captain Devaney never went to sea again, and died a few years later a broken man. (2)



When Captain O’Malley was mate of a ship bound for England from America they met a loaded ship without a crew. His captain put him aboard with half the crew and told O’Malley to follow him to England. In the darkness of the night O’Malley changed his course and headed for Ireland where he discharged his cargo and many more afterwards.” “Another time when the English cutter was very watchful and determined to get O’Malley, he made up his mind to get the cutter. He landed with a cargo of goods outside where Inisgort lighthouse now is, but to chance to come into the harbour was mighty dangerous. Having heard there was a village dance in a house near the Coastguard station, they set off in a small boat, playing a melodeon and passing close to the cuter and the Coastguard station. They answered the challenge and said they were off to the dance in Rosmina (Rosmoney).

They were allowed by but just as they passed the cutter O’Malley dived into the tide, got into the cutter, unmoored her and let her drift out to sea. With the noise and bustle of the dance nearby and the excitement of the evening, she was not noticed drifting and the darkness of the night prevented the Coastguard from seeing her. O’Malley with a few of his men he had left on Island Haggert, brought her out to sea and sank her. For months O’Malley was pirate king of Clew Bay and he discharged cargo after cargo under the noses of the Coastguard from Galway to Blacksod. People composed and sang songs about him. His last cargo came to Clew Bay. On entering the bay he was spotted by the cutter which had followed him for a long way.


At nightfall when O’Malley knew he was pursued, he lowered one of his small boats, set a sail on her, and tying a lamp to the mast, let her go. The cutter followed the light and O’Malley slipped in and discharged his cargo of tobacco at Roy pier. On coming out the ship misstayed and grounded on the Inishloo, he was arrested and when he was caught he said ‘Ye have the nest but the clutch is gone’. This cargo of tobacco was buried in a bog. There was one innocent man in the place and he would not be trusted to have anything to do with it and he was the one to prove against O’Malley. The night before the trial this man was out riding on a horse and he was found 8 miles outside Louisbourg. When the case was called there was nobody to prove against O’Malley and he was freed. (3)



31 December 1828

Wreck of the Helen, of Newcastle Seafield, near Miltown Malby, Dec 23 On Tuesday evening last, between four and five o'clock, the Helen, of Newcastle, 300 tons burden, Rutherford Christie, master, struck on Seafield-Rock, and was wrecked. She was laden with timber from Corgane, North America, consigned to Smith & Co., Liverpool; John Wright, North Shields, owner. Through the exertions of Captain M'Namara, inspecting commander of the coast guard who went on board with Mr.Maude, chief officer, and others of the coast guard, the crew and entire cargo, together with the brig and rigging etc. have been saved. By the timely arrival of Captain John Wright, Chief constable of police, and a strong party of police, the mob has effectually been kept off, and by their indefatigable exertions, the entire property is, and will, no doubt be preserved. Too much praise cannot be bestowed on Captain Wright, for his prompt assistance on this occasion, as well as at the wreck of the Venerable, of Doolin, in February last. (5)

References :
  1. Morning Register 6th.January 1827.
  2.  "Memory Harbour" by John McTernan.
  3. J.Cahill.
  4. “Shipmaker” The story of Her Majesty’s Coastguard by Bernard Scarlett.
  5. The Times” 31 December 1828.
  6. Dublin Evening Post .5th.February .1829.
  7. Devonport Telegraph. Ref; Dublin Evening Mail Friday 3rd. December 1830.

© 2001-2005 [coastguards of yesteryear]

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0 Comments · 5173 Reads · Print  -> Posted by Tony on June 17 2007


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