The Coastguard Cutter Vol3 No4

April 2005
Vol. 3 - No.4.


St. Paul’s Churchyard, Bray.
Lieutenant Thomas D.J. Dabine. died August 1848 obit. 64.
For many years commanding the Bray Coastguard Station.

Commander A.W. Forbes, R.N. obit. 29th.December 1864.
Aged 71. In charge of Bray Coastguard Station in 1858.

Lieutenant James Tandy. obit. 22nd.January 1835. aged 45.
Chief Officer Coastguard.

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. (1)

Extract of the Attendance Register of St. Patrick's National School, Greystones, Co. Wicklow.

Shipwreck and Terrible Aftermath

The Story of Irish born Thomas Selvey in the Coastguard.

New CG Letters with original documents kindly sent in by Peter Hunt.

Carrickfergus Station Photos

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Wit and Wisdom of Ireland.

"The maid picked up the phone and murmured something before slamming down the receiver. "Who was that, Mary? I'm expecting a call"
"Only some idiot from Alaska. He said it was a long distance from Alaska. I told him we knew that"


On the 11th.October 1836 the Erne of Wicklow was beached at Quinns ground Bray, saved by coastguard.

Coastguard. Mr.Tucker,

Master R.N. has taken command of the Coastguard Station, Bray Strand a post left vacant on the retirement of Lt. Forbes. The Station was recently inspected by Captain Heathcote, of HMS Ajax. (6)


The Italian Barque Pimerrero stranded on the Dublin side of Bray Head on the 27th.January 1873.

The coastguard fired their rockets to the wreck with instructions in French and English which were not understood. The crew were rescued and taken by tug to Kingstown. The 800 ton vessel carried a cargo of grain.

Please Note;

The new forum is now up and running and is already becoming quite popular. At the moment there are 2 categories:
Coastguards & Genealogy.

CoY Forum

It's free, secure and all are welcome.

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

In the Neighbourhood.

The Coastguard Service took part in many humanitarian deeds as is stated in the reports of the Flooding in Bray, County Wicklow in 1905.This is only one of many tasks undertaken by them to assist the local people in the neighbourhood of their stations.


"Some of those who so nobly risked their lives in saving others during the recent floods in Bray on the night of August 25th 1905."

1905 Bray Flood.

The Coastguards and the floods at Little Bray, Co. Wicklow. On the night of Thursday 24th.August 1905, a downpour of rain which began at nine heralded a chain of events that would forever be remembered by the people of Little Bray. This rain which lasted almost uninterruptedly until an early hour on Sunday morning was to swell the Dargle river to bursting point and the whole of Little Bray was to be engulfed by a raging torrent that swept through the area at approximately 9.00 p.m. on the night of Friday, Aug.25th. The people first noticed the water seeping in under the doors and tried to stem the flow with mats and sacks thinking it was caused by the rain running off the pavement. Then they noticed the water coming in at the back, and the alarm was raised. At first there was only six inches of water but within minutes this had ridden to two feet.

In many places owing to being confined in the narrow laneways and stopped by walls the water mounted to a depth of ten feet. The river had burst its banks and then came down by the road swamping the whole of the village right up to the railway. Between 1,200 and 2,000 people were affected by the flood. Cabs and carts were floating like boats, and carried down streets to the danger of men who were endeavouring to rescue people from their flooded houses. No light could be seen, the rain poured ceaselessly, and the shrieks of women with crying children, the shouts of men and the noise of the raging waters were terrible.

Hundreds of old men, women and children were rescued only under the greatest difficulty. Great work was done by the members of the Coastguard and the Fire Brigade., nine people being taken from the Schoolhouse by means of ladders and fire escapes. They broke windows and doors in a number of houses, where the water was rising to the garrets and upper floors, where the inhabitants fled for safety, and were crying out in terror. Only on Saturday morning was it possible to measure the extent of the damage and loss of life, the streets and houses were still two or three feet deep in water.

One of the men who had played a big part in rescuing victims became one himself when he endeavoured to cross the flood with the intention of going to see after his own family when he was knocked down by the current and drowned. (1)

Fatal Accident

Bray. December 22nd.

I have to record a most melancholy and fatal accident off this shore. A boat belonging to a Mrs. Cuthbert of Bray, manned by two brothers of the name of Archer, Green, John Whelan and Lynch, returning from Kingstown where they had been seen fishing for herrings, was upset about one mile from the shore, opposite No.2 Tower. It is supposed she was under a press of sail. William Callaghan, Boatman of the Coastguard was on the look-out at the Tower, and, immediately on seeing the catastrophe, with most praiseworthy alacrity ran down to the shore, and in conjunction with Archer, a brother of the unfortunate man on the vessel, succeeded in launching a shore boat, in which at the imminent risk of their lives, they pushed off and succeeded in rescuing Green. The other four poor fellows were consigned to a watery grave. (4)


On the 20th.March 1906 the 'Velinheli' of Carnaervon, weighing 70 tons and under the command Of Captain Hollingsworth, went aground in bad weather a few yards off the south pier at Bray harbour. The ship was carrying coal for John Plunkett of Quinsboro Road. The Greystones Coastal Life Saving crew took the ship's crew ashore aided by a breeches buoy. Mr. Willis, Chief Officer of the Coastguards, with Mr. Spraggs, Bray Harbour Master, supervised the refloating of the ship sometime later. (5)

The Smugglers Cholera Morbus.

It has been currently reported that a vessel was observed off the coast of Donegal for a few days, and that some persons had gone out to her in an open boat to ascertain her name and destination. On reaching the vessel they observed a miserable looking man on board, who asked them “if they had brought any milk with them?” They replied in the negative, “Oh ! Then” said he” for Heavens sake go back and bring me some, for there are seven of us on board, five of whom are lying these three days with Cholera Morbus, and they have not had a drink of milk, or any other nourishment since: I fear they will die before we can leave this place, as we are obliged to perform quarantine here,” The persons in the boat naturally became alarmed, and pulled off as quick as they could – but they had not gone far, when they observed seven men on board the vessel, hard at work, getting a quantity of tobacco into a boat, which brought it away, and the vessel immediately put to sea. (Ballyshannon Herald) (8)

Link to National Maritime Museum, Greenwich. Map on screen can be magnified from 25%, 33%, 50% to 100%. Will print out copies.
We would like to thank Malcolm Blackmore who brought, this valuable link for Coastguard researchers, to our attention.

The Arklow Fishing Disaster.

Body washed Ashore. On Tuesday Morning a dead body was washed ashore just outside Porter’s Rock within half a mile from Arklow Harbour. It was found by the Coastguard, Nicholas Brennan, who had been patrolling the beach. The body was lying on the sand face downwards, just at the edge of the wash. He made a sign to the Coastguards “ one dead body found”. It was the body of Michael O’Brien who with his father and brother who went out fishing on the night of the 17th.December last. The body was found close to where the boat sank. The body was brought into town to the deceased’s mother’s house. (3)

References :
  1. “A Drink from Broderick’s Well” by Colbert Martin.
  2. Journal of the Cualann Historical Society 1986.
  3. Wicklow People Saturday 3rd.January 1903
  4. Dublin Evening Post Tuesday 26th.December 1843.
  5. A Pictorial History of Greystones, Bray & Enniskerry.
  6. Bray Gazette. 10th.August 1861.
  7. “Shipwrecks of the Irish Coast” Vol 2 by Edward J.Rourke
  8. Saunders News Letter 25th.November 1831.

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0 Comments · 10026 Reads · Print  -> Posted by Tony on June 17 2007


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