Collision in the Channel

Collision in the Channel



Queenstown, Thursday.

Today the National Company's steamer Helvetia (2,307 tons), Captain Thompson, from Liverpool, en route for New York, arrived in the harbour and reported that at 3.30 a.m. this morning, when off the South Rock, distant about two miles south of the Tuskar Light, she came into collision with the revenue cutter Fanny, which left Queenstown Harbour about 1 p.m. on Wednesday, and which was tender to the coastguard ship stationed at Kingstown, Dublin. The captain, chief officer, and boatswain were lost, together with fourteen of the crew.

The Coastguard Cutter The following is Capt. Thompson" s statement" "October 31st. passed the Tuskar Light, and the wind was N.N.E.- force about 8.Heavy sea, with squalls, 3.38 am. observed a red light about one point on the starboard bow. Stopped the engines. Was on the bridge at the time, ordered the helm hard aport, which was instantly done, when we observed a green light, and then reversed the helm hard a starboard. Before the Helvetia could answer the helm, she collided with the Fanny, a jigger rigged cutter of about 80 or 90 tons, sinking her under the bow, and passing clean over her. Immediately lifebelts were thrown overboard. Number two quarter boat was instantaneously lowered and rowed all around the vicinity of where the wreck should be until daylight, but no trace of the wreck was visible. At 7.15 a.m. continued voyage for Queenstown, and landed the seven survivors which were providentially saved under the bow of the steamer by a scramble as the Fanny went down. "

SAVED. Frederick Downing, Donald Loynahan, Joseph Lovell, Nicholas Driver, William Jones, William Bailey, John Tickell.

DROWNED. Joseph Greet (Chief Officer Commanding), John Montgomery (second officer), James Kitchen (chief quartermaster), John M'Cullen, able seaman, John Earl do; Charles Abbott, do; Thomas Coulter, ordinary seaman, Henry Howe, do; George England, do; James Fisher Payne, do; John Peak, William Adams, William Powell, Thomas Jenkins, and John Dominic.

The above casualty list has cast the greatest gloom over Queenstown, as the crew, both drowned and saved, were general favourites with the inhabitants and it was only on Wednesday morning she left Haulbowline, where she underwent a general overhaul for her intended cruise to the several coastguard stations to the eastward of Cork Harbour when the present unfortunate casualty befell her.

Sources; His Majesty's Coastguard by Frank Bowen., Irish Times, Photo; Imperial War Museum.

0 Comments · 5030 Reads · Print  -> Posted by Tony on April 29 2007


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