Shipwreck and Terrible Aftermath


Shipwreck and Terrible Aftermath


Shipwreck at Ardmore.

To the editor of the Cork Constitution, Youghal 18th.October 1831.

CoastlineThe brig ‘Lusitania’, Captain Crookshanks, of and from Liverlpool to Oporto with a general cargo, was in the gale of the 14th.inst. driven onshore about 5 o’clock a.m. at Ballymacart, about six miles east of this harbour: the mate and two men succeeded in landing immediately after she struck, in the long boat, which was stove on reaching the beach. The Captain and remainder of the crew, with two gentlemen and two lady passengers, had no alternative but to remain on board, the sea was running so high, in which state I saw them, but could not render no assistance until about 3 o’clock, at low water, when a signal was made them to let a spar float ashore with a line to it, which they did, and to this we made fast the bow of a small boat, and, with another line to her stern she was drawn backwards and forwards through the surf.

The ladies were slung down from the stern into the boat, and in the same way the rest of the crew and passengers escaped from their perilous situation,- the Captain being the last man to leave the ship. She was a very fine vessel over 300 tons burden, about four years old, the cargo a very valuable one, mostly consisting of bale goods. I have succeeded in saving and bringing here a great part of the cargo, and hope to get what remains in, if the weather continues moderate. The vessel I fear will not be got off, as she lies on a bed of rocks and is broken through in many places. I must now add to my melancholy report of the stranding of the vessel, the melancholy disasters which have attended it.

Not having sufficient force to protect the property, it was deemed prudent to call in the aid of some military, and on Sunday it unfortunately happened one of the sailors got drunk and quarrelled with a soldier of the 37th.Regiment on duty which ended in the soldiers shooting him,- the man died instantly, and yesterday an inquest was held, and the verdict returned was ”unjustifiable homicide” whereupon the soldier was committed to Waterford Gaol. Last night one of the Coastguards on duty on board the vessel fell overboard and was drowned. Another of them had his leg broken yesterday by a bale falling on it; and a third was today severely struck by the handle of the winch on the sloop that his life is despaired of.

I think it very likely had there been a light on Cable Island this vessel would not have been lost, or these disasters have occurred, as the former rose out of the Captain not seeing the land, or knowing where he was, until a few minutes before the vessel struck land in the act of tacking her about. Lieut. Badgot (Bagehot) R.N. and the Coastguard under his command, contributed very much towards saving the lives of the crew and passengers, which I deem it just right to mention. I am Sir etc. Thomas John Jun. Agent for Lloyds.



Reference; Saunders News-Letter Saturday 22nd.October 1831




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