Rescue at Oysterhaven

Rescue at Oysterhaven

The SYLVAN on 11th November 1818 ran aground in wild weather near Oyster Haven.As she broke up, the sole survivor, a boy, was seen from the land clinging from her rigging. Next day in spite of the high seas , an Oyster Haven boat rowed out, saw the boy on one of the Sovereign Rocks, but was unable to take him off because of the weather. A sum of ten guineas was offered to any boat that would rescue the boy. One from Kinsale set off with warm wine in bladders, and two Revenue officers from Oyster Haven went out in their boat as well, towing a punt. They got the punt alongside the rocks long enough to throw a line to the boy, but instead of tying himself to it for rescue he threw it away and went back up the cliffs. Night was coming on and the boy began gathering weed for a bed and herbs to eat. Mr.Gibbons, in a whale boat, made an 11 p.m. attempt and another at dawn, but could not get near the rocks. In Kinsale the crew of an American ship, Dayad, said they would go out and not return if they did not make the rescue; before they went they successfully experimented with firing a musket-ball with a line attached to it. By this time a number of Oyster Haven boats were circling the rock, and finally Jack Carthy, who owned one of them, tied a rope round his own waist, plunged into the sea and scrambled on to the island. He tied the rope round the boy and had him pulled out to the waiting boat, meanwhile sitting himself peacefully on a rope waiting for the rope to be thrown back for his return. The American boat came up at this moment and gave three cheers for the rescuers: other boats included one with Lt.Blackyen and Lt. Desprang, RN, who had brought out geese and turkeys to which they had intended to attach bread for them to fly it to the island.

Reference: ‘Discovering Cork’

Smugglers off the Coast
"Smugglers Coast"

Tragedy struck the Wicklow Coastguard community on 17th. March 1888 with the drowning of two members, Fred Roncliffe and Thomas Mumford at Five Mile Point. Chief Officer Easterbrook and four men were returning to Five Mile Point station. They had set out from Wicklow Harbour having collected provisions in the town and furniture from Wicklow station. The furniture included two iron bedsteads, mattresses and wicker chairs and they had set sail at 1.15 p.m. The beds would not fit in the boat and instead, were laid across the gunwales.

Altough the sea was calm, the boat was top heavy and she capsized only 200 yards from the shore.. (250 yards from the coastguard station) Roncliffe could not swim and was helped onto the upturned boat by John Flowers and Mumford.Chief Officer Easterbrook, Flowers and George Hunt all made it to shore, but Mumford stayed with Roncliffe. Roncliffe became benumbed and fell off three times only to be helped back on by Mumford. He finally tried to swim ashore supported by oars, but perished 50 yards out. Mumford went under only 30 yards from shore. Their wives, from the beach had witnessed the drownings. Both are buried in Newcastle graveyard.

0 Comments · 5774 Reads · Print  -> Posted by Tony on April 28 2007


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