Collision in the Channel 2

Collision in the Channel 2

(Special Telegram) Cork, Friday.

I supplement the details of this lamentable affair by the statement of one of the survivors who was on the deck watch at the time of the collision. The story of Daniel Loynahan, of Campbeltown, Argyleshire, leading seaman is as follows:­

Customs Officer

We were proceeding from Queenstown to Kingstown, with coastguard supplies, and dropped stores at Ballycotton, Dunmore and Tramore. I was in the middle-watch, about three o'clock upon Thursday morning. About 25 minutes to three o’clock, or near that time-a large steamer was reported on the lee bow. The officer on watch at the time was Mr.Kitchen, and when reported to him he sang out, "Look out men !" and went forward to see for himself. Shortly after that there was a squall, and I went to the officer of the watch, who ordered to reef the foresail.

That was when the steamers light was seen about six or seven miles distant from our vessel. She was jumping and pitching badly taking in a great deal of water. However by some mistake, the wrong rope for hauling the foresail upon was handed out, and that caused some delay before we noticed we were hauling wrong. Myself and Saunders, who is drowned, went forward, and discovered the proper rope to haul in, and we hauled the foresail down.

This took some time and the steamer was still showing her lights across our bows. When we finished I noticed that the steamer was approaching us very smart, when the officer, Mr. Kitchen, sang out, "Great God, they are into us". I then looked around and saw the collision was inevitable, as the steamer was coming on to us with flush bows. I ran off and rang the the fire bell and called lustily upon the men below to come on deck, and whilst doing so the steamer came into us, striking us about the main "runners" on the starboard side. The stroke cut the Fanny almost through, because she sank amidships, her bow and stern standing out of the water, and being carried forward by the steamer, which was rolling heavily at the time. I saw the stern of the Fanny sink, and the steamers bow was still going over us.

I cannot tell you how I escaped because I was too much confused to look around after the collision. I ran aft to our lee boat, but saw that we could not lower her owing to her being smashed. I then ran to the starboard rigging and roared out a dozen times to the steamer for God's sake to heave us a rope, but there was no response. However I hung on and when a wave lifted the boat I jumped for the bows of the steamer, caught the rail and got on board. There was one rope over the bow, and three men were hanging on to it. I tried to haul in the rope with the assistance of another, but we could not pull up, and the men dropped off. I then ran aft to the bridge of the steamer, and asked for a boat to be lowered, but found it would be fully a quarter of an hour before one could touch the water. The life buoys however were thrown out, and the steamer cruised about till daybreak. I believe that if the boats were ready for lowering on board the steamer a great many more would have been saved.

0 Comments · 4608 Reads · Print  -> Posted by Tony on April 29 2007


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