Waterford County Museum, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford, Ireland. Charity Reg: 17397
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 Sligo Champion 3 March 1838

Loss of a Liverpool vessel, her crew and cargo in Ardmore Bay.

The vessel alluded to in the following letter is supposed to be the Sir Howard Douglas. Not one of the crew has escaped, and we fear that their fate has been shared by the crew of another vessel - a schooner whose name or destination has not reached us - ashore near Cable Island.

To the editor of the Cork Constitution Ardmore Feb 16, 1838

A most disastrous shipwreck occurred in the bay within the last six hours. About one o'clock, a.m., the half tide, a large three masted vessel was seen to drift before wind and tide into the south east angle of Ardmore Bay. She beached side foremast almost instantly upon a fine sandy bottom. The crew at this time cut away the foremast, which went overboard with the top of the mainmast. This was the time for the crew to have made some effort to save themselves by rafts, or boats. In about half an hour after striking she became embedded in the sand, evidently filled with water; the crew were now all on deck, lashed to the timber near the stern, and they and they appeared like so many inanimate beings; the tide at this time receding, it was hoped by those on shore that at low water the vessel might be reached, but in vain, all efforts were useless, - no boat could go against the wind and tide. Besides the surf ran mountains high. It was now evident all help from shore was out of the question - signals were made to the crew to leave the vessel at all risks - but no - they seemed unheeded. All this time spars were every moment leaving the ship and floating to shore, and even the ship's boats from off the deck; still the crew sent no rope to shore, or ventured on the spars; the deep water only continued for about 100 yards... there it was only knee deep, and that 100 yards might with the aid of the wind, be passed in five minutes - the crew in fact appeared stupefied... It was dreadfully painful to witness the return of the tide... at four o'clock the crew got into the rigging, and the sea washed over the deck. A little after, one of the masts fell, and all were crowded on the remaining one, there they hung, a most melancholy object to contemplate, their number appeared about 12. Night closed, and left those unhappy beings in their awful situation, on a single plank amidst a raging sea....About six o'clock the vessel broke up. Hogsheads, boxes etc, floated on shore - the shore in fact was covered with the wreck and cargo, but not one human being came to land. Several respectable persons in the neighbourhood were on shore the entire time, waiting to afford every aid.... The water guard are at present protecting the wreck.

Shipwreck along Irish Coastline



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