Melancholy Shipwrecks

Melancholy Shipwrecks

Extract of a letter from Tyrella, Co. Down dated 18th.March

Early this morning, a large 3 masted vessel, apparently about 500 tons burthen, beating into the Bay of Dundrum- onRough Sea striking a rock on the ground, she immediately fell over, and soon began to go to pieces. The Rev. George Hamilton of Balbriggan, who happened to be at Tyrella, his seat in the Co. Down, of which county he is a magistrate, on going to the shore, offered a reward to any person who would venture in a boat, in order, if possible, to save the lives of the crew. An attempt was accordingly made, but from the height of the surf and the spars from the vessel, which were drifting about in every direction, all approach to the wreck was found to be impracticable. Previously to her going to pieces, 15 men were counted on her deck by the people on shore; and at minute of writing this, they are to be seen clinging to a rock near the place she struck; but until the storm abates, or the tide falls, it is quite impossible to afford them any assistance. The Rev. George Hamilton, together with Major Rainey of Mount Panther, Mr. Hamilton, Land waiter of Killough, and Mr. Russell of the same place, assisted by the Preventive Water Guard stationed at Tyrella and Killough, under Captain Morris and Mr. Aldred, are endeavouring to save as much of the wreck as possible and to render any assistance in their power.

One body had already come on shore - it appears from some papers found that the vessel was built at Maryport, and had left Liverpool since the 11th. of this month, but of what the cargo consisted, or whither she was bound has not yet been ascertained.

"At the same time another vessel was driven ashore close to the rocks of Craigalea. The crew consisting of 8 men were happily saved. - being enabled by the shelter afforded by the rocks to reach the land. They are now safely lodged at Tyrella House. The vessel is called the Catherine of Preston, bound from Workington to Dundalk, and laden with coals, Isaac Teeling, master, If the gale subsides it is hoped the vessel may be preserved."

"A boat this minute succeeded in rescuing the 2 persons, a man and a boy, who were seen on the rock. The vessel turns out to be the John Little of Liverpool, Savage, master, bound for Halifax with a cargo of salt. There were 15 persons on board, of whom the above two are the only survivors. She was run fowl of by a vessel on the 16th.inst off Milford, by which accident her bowsprit was carried away, and was returning to refit when overtaken by the storm. Before I close my letter I cannot but bear testimony to the activity and meritorious exertions of Captain Morris, of the Preventive Water Guard on this melancholy occasion".

Reference; Dublin Evening Mail. Monday 21st.March 1825

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