The Coastguard Cutter Vol 7 No9

The Coastguard Cutter
September 09 Edition
Vol 7 No. 9.

"The Lady Margaret"


Hello Friend,

As in all walks of life, then as now, the Coastguard could find life too unbearable with tragic consequences.


Suicide of a Coastguard. 1896

Tralee, Friday.  Intelligence has reached here of the suicide of a Coastguard named Robert Upton, aged about 36 years, and a native of England, at Ballyheigue Coastguard Station last evening. A number of the men of the station went out line fishing in Ballyheigue Bay, and the deceased, who was the look-out man, was watching them through his glass, when his sister-in-law came out and asked him to lend the glass to her. This he fruffly refused to do, saying she would break it. She was displeased at his refusal, and he turned away and went into the house. Shortly after a shot was heard, and on proceeding to the room Upton was found on the floor, apparently quite dead, blood flowing from his mouth and a large fracture in the upper part of his skull. He placed the muzzle of the revolver in his mouth and discharged it. Upton came to Ballyheigue station in 1894, and was well liked. It has since been remarked that he was a little queer in his manner, for a couple of days past, and on the previous day left the village without partaking of his usual pint of stout. The coroner has been communicated with, and an inquest will be held.

Ref: The Irish Times  25 April 1896.

Rescue Pay. 1859

An order, is, we understand, about to be issued from the Comptroller General of the Coast-guard Office, directing, that whenever the men serving on the coast-guard are ordered to attend with the mortar apparatus, for rescuing the crews of ships in distress, serving in life-boats, or engaged in the protection of wrecked property, they are, for the time so employed, to be entitled to a sum equivalent to double pay, exclusive of any awards granted by the Board of Trade; the officers will, it is understood, be compensated for additional work and responsibility.   (Shipping Gazette)

Ref: Wicklow News-Letter 17th.December 1859.



The New Kid on the Block!

A new  Irish Coast Guard Historic Society has just been formed. It was started by Declan McQuillan, Howth Coast Guard station,Co.Dublin.



Find out more at

We wish it good luck with its preservation projects.

Irish Proverbs

Everyone praises his native land.

A heavy purse makes a light heart.


UK CG NewsCoastguard News from England

Mr.Barlow Moore and the Coastguard. 1838

Yesterday an investigation took place, by order of the Commissioners of Customs, at the Custom House, Gravesend, into the circumstances of the complaint by Mr.Barlow Moore against the Greenhithe Coast-Guard, charging members of that body with having fired ball at his yacht, and annoyed him frequently at other times because he had taken into his employment a man who was obnoxious to them.

        30 July 1838.

        A long report of the inquiry into the Barlow affair (above). It appears that the Coast Guard superintendent had reason to think that Playel, who was employed by Barlow Moore might have been involved in smuggling.

  • To long to transcribe but the investigators and witnesses may be of interest.
  • C.Dowding, Surveyor- General of the Customs- Investigator.
  • Captain Sparshott – deputy Comptroller of the Coast Guard, Greenhithe
  • Lieutenant Parkes, Coast Guard, Greenhithe
  • Mr. Leman – secretary to the investigation
  • Witnesses:-
  • Captain Tucker, Superintendent of the Coast Guard, Greenhithe
  • Lieutenant Parkes, Coast Guard, Greenhithe
  • James Dixon, Boatman, Cliff Coast Guard station
  • William White, Commissioned boatman, Cliff Coast Guard station
  • Thomas Warnock, Boatman, Cliff Coast Guard station.
  • Charles Johnson, Commissioned Boatman, Yantlet Coast guard station 9commander of the Tiger revenue cruiser)
  • John Moorhead, Commissioned Boatman, Greenhithe station
  • John Fulcher, Commissioned Boatman, Greenhithe station
  • James Atkins, commander of the Fly revenue cruiser (15 years in the service)
  • John Sutton, commander of the Sylph revenue tender (13 years in the service)
  • George Coates, mariner on board the Sylph revenue tender (ex employee of Barlow Moore)
  • Pleyel, ex Coast Guard boatman (now employed by Barlow Moore)
  • The investigation found in favour of Mr. Barlow Moore.

 Ref: The Times, London 30 July 1838.

Jumping over the Cliff at Dover. 1905.

Cliffs of Dover

An inquest was held at St. Margaret’s, near Dover, last evening, on the body of John Papworth, who committed suicide by jumping over the cliff last Friday afternoon. . Coastguard Griffin stated that Papworth passed the Cornhill Coastguard Station on Friday last, and was the same man he had restrained from jumping over the cliff a month previous. Witness had his suspicions, and followed him. The man, perceiving witness, at once started running. Griffin followed quickly, but not in time to save the poor fellow, for when within 20 yards of him he turned and leaped over the cliff, a distance of 400 feet. He looked over, and discovered the body floating in the water, where it was found next morning.

In summing up, the Coroner strongly commented on the magistrates binding Papworth over when he was charged on the first attempt, instead of having him removed to the infirmary, as the doctor suggested. A verdict of suicide whilst temporarily insane was returned.

Ref: The Irish Times. 28 February 1905

The Lighthouse Focus -Lighthouse Focus [Vol 15]

Collision with a Lighthouse. 1897

Our Belfast correspondent telegraphs that yesterday morning No. 3 lighthouse, situated in the Victoria channel, between Holywood and Cultra, was run into by a cross-channel steamer and overturned. The collision was not attended by loss of life. The weather at the time was very thick, and a strong wind was blowing. When nearing the lighthouse the captain of the steamer saw a light which he mistook for that of a vessel, and in trying to clear ran stem on to the lighthouse, taking away one of the uprights and throwing the structure into the water. The keeper of the lighthouse and his wife with great difficulty managed to climb to the roof of the house, which floated. They were exposed in this position for soime time but were ultimately rescued by one of the steamer’s boats and taken on board. The keeper was injured about the body, and his wife suffered considerably from the exposure. Both were taken to the Royal Hospital. Some years ago a lighthouse was knocked down in the same channel by a Bristol steamer, and some lives were lost.

Ref: The Times London  8 January 1897.

Weather for 1944 D-Day landings. 

“Probably the most significant historical episode was that of local man Ted Sweeney, a Lighthouse keeper and corporal of the Irish Coast Guard. Sweeney’s jurisdiction was off Blacksod Bay, Co.Mayo, an area in close proximity to international shipping lanes, which, during the war was alive with submarines and German U-Boats moving in Irish waters to evade detection. Sweeney, whose wife Mairin still resides in the area, played a part in D-Day.

The Allies, with boats ready in the Atlantic, had set previous dates for the invasion, but weather had hampered their plans. They needed up-to-date weather forecasts, Sweeney detected a clearance in the weather, this information was channelled to the Allies and the date was set for D-Day – June 6th, 1944 – as a result of his forecast.

Huge quartz stones were painted with IRE and a sequence of numbers which gave the Allied airplanes their bearings as they flew from the US over Ireland.”

Ref: The Irish Times. ‘Discover Erris’ p.23.  4 June 2009.

 Coming in October Edition.

Grace Darling's father






With more and more people enjoying the beach and sea, the RNLI has never been busier - rescuing an average of 22 people every day. It now costs over £330,000 a day to run this essential service - to train their volunteers and maintain their craft and equipment. So however you choose to support them, every penny really counts.

To donate to the RNLI, simply call 0800 543210 or visit
(for Republic of Ireland call (01) 800 789 589 or visit

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