The Coastguard Cutter Vol3 No3

March 2005
Vol. 3 - No.3.


Grace Darling

ROSS, RICHARD. Chief Boatman, Coastguard, Dunmore. Silver (2) Medal.

On the 24th.November 1835 the brig ‘Collins’, Quebec to Liverpool, was wrecked near Dunmore Pier. Mr. Ross and five of his men launched a boat but were obliged to turn back by the violence of the weather. Getting on to a rock abreast of the wreck, they succeeded in passing ropes on board by which the crew were hauled ashore one by one: the coastguards had other ropes had other ropes fastened around their bodies. When the rope around the Master broke and he was swept away, One of the coastguards plunged in and saved him; nearly lifeless, both of them were hauled on to the rocks. A total of eleven men were saved.

Carrickfergus Station Photos

Renovation and Restoration | Tramore

British Justice for a Sailor v Justice for a British Sailor

Coastguard monetary awards for lifesaving

List of CG Stations Around the Irish Coast C.1900.

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Wit and Wisdom of Ireland.

"There is not a way into the woods for which there is also not a way out of it."


It appears that members of the crew of a ship aground were not too keen to trust themselves to the breeches buoy and in a number of cases Coastguards went out on to the ship to encourage them.Thomas Smallwood won a Bronze Medal in 1891 for going out to the wreck of the 'Violente' off the Isle of Wight and bringing off the Master's wife 'who had refused to get into the breeches-buoy', In the same year Thomas Cole and William Wright of Kilmore went out to the 'Esther' to bring off the Master 'who was reported to be insane and had refused to leave'.

Another Maritime Heroine

We would like to congratulate Ellen on her recent record single-handed voyage

Britain's Ellen MacArthur has completed her single-handed round-the-world voyage in record-breaking time.

After achieving the record time, the Isle of Wight-based yachtswoman having completed the 27,000-mile voyage said: "I feel exhausted but I'm elated to be here."

She added: "It has been an unbelievable journey.


Dear Friend,Welcome to the March edition of "The Coastguard Cutter".

The Story of the Grace Darling Rescue.

In the nineteenth century Fairy Tales generally started thus, "Once upon a time there was a young girl, etc." but this was not a Fairy Tale but a story of the bravery of Grace Darling and her father, keeper of the Longstone Lighthouse in saving the lives of nine passengers of the 'Forfarshire'. This was a brave well executed rescue in which Grace played a major part, she was no more than five foot tall and not strong, she died only a few years later of consumption at the age of twenty-six. The nation went overboard for Grace Darling, well known artists queued up outside the Lighthouse to paint her portrait. She became Britain's first national heroine. She was a role-model who made people realise that anyone - if they had enough courage - could help to save lives at sea.



DARLING, WILLIAM. Lighthouse Keeper Silver Medal


7th.September 1838. The weather in the North Sea was dark and stormy when early on the 6th.September, the 270 ton paddle steamer 'Forfarshire' developed boiler trouble off Flamborough Head Yorkshire. She was on passage, with cargo and 63 people aboard, between Hull and Dundee and, under the tyranny of her timetable, her Master decided to press on rather than make for Shields. Later in the day the weather worsened to one of the most violent storms experienced up to then on the north-east coast, so a defective boiler was brought back into use. Operating conditions on board deteriorated until, at 1 a.m. on the 7th. The engine stopped and off St. Abb's Head, the sails with which the ship was equipped were set but she was still blown ashore.

The Master made for shelter but, in spite of dropping anchor the ship went on to the Harcar Rocks on Inner Farne Island off Bambrough, Northumberland, with her bows completely crumpled in. Eight of the crew and a passenger got away in a boat to be picked up 24 hours later, but the steamer broke in two very soon afterwards with only seven passengers and six of the crew left alive. During the night two children and two men died from exposure and, at dawn the nine survivors crept on to the rocks. Their plight was seen Miss Dowling from the Longstone Lighthouse, a mile away on Farne (or Houss) Island. With her father, William, she put off in the coble and rowed through the howling gale, the boiling seas tossing them about like a cork. Reaching the rocks where the seas were surging over the survivors, William jumped ashore, leaving his daughter to manage the boat single handed. Five survivors were taken back to the lighthouse where Grace tended them, while her father and two of the men returned to bring off the other four. The ferocity of the weather was such that two days were to elapse before the survivors could be taken to the mainland. (1)

Brave Rescues

R.N.L.I. Awards.

WEBLIN, JOHN. Boatman, Coastguard, Ballymacaw. Silver Medal.

At 1 o'clock on Saturday the 22nd. of June 1839, on passage from Newport to New York, the 'Prince Regent'' was seen to enter Tramore Bay evidently unaware of the dangerous nature of the place for vessels; she sailed in at a rapid rate and had a good deal of canvas set. The sea ran very high at the time, and it was feared that she would inevitably go upon the strand. But shortly before she reached the strand a shot was fired as a signal, and the vessel dropped her anchor and stopped further progress inwards. It was too late for her to retrace her way, and she was obliged to remain at anchor, riding very heavy in a tumbling sea, and washed by the surge.

Dennett's Rockets failed to throw a line the distance. Lt. Scudamore, commanding the Coastguard, attempted to board her, but the boat upset, and the party were obliged to swim to shore. The vessel - the situation of which was one of painful interest, not only to those on board her, but to hundreds who gathered to the beach - lay tossing about till low water, 8 o'clock, when a brave fellow, a Ballymacaw coastguard, named John Weblin, a native of Devonport swam with a rope to the vessel amidst the cheers of those on the strand, and the waving of hats of those on board the vessel; after surmounting tremendous waves, and being at first nearly sucked under her keel, he succeeded in gaining the vessel, got the long boat lowered, and brought all her crew and passengers, safe ashore.

A beautiful child was first handed from the boat, and its appearance excited the greatest interest and pleasure. The passengers are all well. The vessel proved to be the 'Prince Regent', Captain Price, of and from Newport for New York, laden with rod-iron; she was a week out, and had 27 passengers with a crew of about 13 men. Alexander Richard Pope Esq, agent to Lloyds was promptly in attendance. Strong expectations are entertained that the vessel, although now aground, will be got out of the Bay. We understand that the Captain intended to go to Waterford to change his crew, and that he entered Tramore Bay under an impression that it was the entrance to Waterford Harbour.
(Waterford Mirror) (2)

Ship News

Breeches BuoyThe barque 'Prince Regent', Price, lies on Tramore Strand nearly a mile from the town. Numbers of people have been to visit her. At low water she can be boarded with some difficulty. The sea beats against her with considerable violence, though it does not run near so high as when she came in first. She must be damaged; there are nearly 9 feet of water in her hold. Yesterday the Coastguards under Lt. Scudamore R.N. and some of the Tramore people were engaged in constructing a raft in order to discharge the cargo (iron), part of which is to be brought to the beach, and the remainder to be sent to Waterford by boat. A trifle only was discharged yesterday, but a good deal was expected to be got out this day. A.R.Pope Esq. attends every day as Lloyds Agent, the vessel and cargo being insured. John Power Esq. M.P. for this County, rode down to the strand when the barque came in, and went out some distance into the sea, encouraging the people to assist the crew and passengers. His example had the desired effect, Weblin, who swam out to the vessel, has since been confined to his bed, owing to the great exertions which he made. We understand that a memorial is to be got up in his favour. He cannot be too highly praised.
(Waterford Mirror of Wednesday) (3)


PARTRIDGE, WILLIAM LUKE. Capt. Inspecting Comm. C.G. Wexford Silver Medal

BARRETT, JAMES. Chief Officer, Coastguard Carnsore. Silver Medal

On the 10th.February 1861 the Glasgow barque ‘Guyana’ bound for the West Indies, was driven ashore on the Carrig Rocks, off Greenore Point, in a north-easterly gale. The Carnsore lifeboat was called out at 3 a.m. . The condition of the roads due to heavy rain and the circuitous route to be traversed by the horse-drawn wagon resulted in the lifeboat not reaching Greenore point until 9 a.m. Then she had to be lowered down an 80 feet steep cliff, this being done under the direction of Captain Partridge. She was launched through high surf with Capt. Partridge, Mr. Barrett and her crew aboard. The force of wind, tide and sea was so great that three attempts were needed before the wreck could be reached and the barques crew of 19 men taken off. They were landed safely at 2.30 p.m. (1)

References :
  1. "Lifeboat Gallantry" by Barry Cox.
  2. Dublin Evening Post 27th.June 1839.
  3. Dublin Evening Post Saturday 29th.June 1839.
  4. "Coastguard" by William Webb.

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