Particulars of the loss of the barque Mary Stoddart, of this port.
Saturday April 17th Scarborough Mercury.
Intelligence has been received of the shipwreck of the Mary Stoddart, of this port, Captain Avery Hill, from Alexandria to Glasgow, which happened at Dundalk Bay, in Ireland on the 8th instant, in a S.E. gale. The sea was very heavy and Captain Hill states that the crew had been in the water from Sunday until Saturday except those who were taken off the wreck on the Friday previous, leaving himself and three others to pass another night in the fore-top where four of the crew had died from exposure. Several attempts were made by boats from Blackrock, to rescue the crew, but without avail the sea was breaking heavy over the barque. The main mast had to be cut away and nothing was left standing about the poop but the sides, and that all provisions were washed away as well as the water, for the want of which they suffered much. The beams were broken from main to foremast, and three of the crew were washed overboard. The Independence, steamer, had endeavoured to give help but failed. During the 9th, Captain Kelly, of the Pride of Erin, steamer, and three boatmen, were lost in attempting to save the crew of the Mary Stoddart.
The following is a statement of the mishaps which have occurred and the exertions used to rescue the unfortunate survivors. The gale was raging with great fury at 4 o'clock on Friday morning, the 9th instant. when Captin Byrne, of the Independence, Captain Williams, of the Earl of Erin; and the Captain at the Coast-guard Station, decided that it would be impossible to bring a steamer over the bar to the assistance of the Mary Stoddart. Captain Kelly finding the steam, tug was not fit for the service required, launched a boat belonging to the Pride of Erin, and with his crew of 6 men pulled away down the river, Captain Hinds followed with his crew in the life boat of the Independence. The boat of Captain Kelly was not a life-boat, and many were astonished that a gentleman of such experience should have ventured out in such a boat. On reaching the lighthouse they rested for some time, and were within a mile and a half of the Mary Stoddart. Captain Kelly then sung out,
"Let us go on in the name of God",
and away they pulled towards the barque. On nearing her both boats came as close as possible on the lee side, and a man in one of the boats caught hold of a rope which hung from the bow, and Captain Kelly called on Captain Johnson to go on the poop and jump into his boat. The Mary Stoddart had previously been taken in tow by Captain Johnson, of the steamer Enterprise, and he had remained on board supposing her safely anchored. He was too weak to get into Captain Kelly's boat and as "the boats could render no assistance to the crew they then commenced to pull for the shore, whena tremendous wave struck Capt Kelly's boat and capsized her. The captain and crew, with a great struggle, succeeded in getting her upon her bottom, but were no sooner there than she was struck by another wave and all were dashed into the sea, and the boat righted. The crew succeeded in getting into her, and Captain Kelly was seen about twenty yards off, and making an effort to swim. He then raised his hands aloft as it in the attitude of prayer, and said,
"Lord have mercy upon me! Farewell, boys; take care of yourselves,"
and disappeared. The capsized boat had lost its oars, and now drifted at the mercy of the waves. It was then taken in tow by the life-boat of the Enterprise, which started from Blackrock, and then came up at the time. A man named Murphy was then taken out dead, another named Crosby in a weak and fainted state, and the body of another man named Hughes was washed on shore. The boats then came into shoal water, when those onshore learned the calamity of Captain Kelly's fate. Crosby was only 25 years of age, and who was a noble young fellow, sank under his sufferings. He took some warm coffee and spirits, but all efforts to save his life proved inneffectual.
The storm about two o'clock in the afternoon was somewhat abated, and the sun shone out, but the sea still ran high, and hopes were entertained that the fury of the gale had been spent, and that Captain Johnson and the crew of the barque would yet be saved, provided that they would hold on till next mornings tide. About one o'clock a noble effort was made by a number of men, who launched a boat from Tipping Quay, Ballurgan, opposite Soldiers Point. This boat was manned by a crew of eight persons. These brave men pulled out into the deep, but, owing to the thowl pins giving way, they experienced great difficulty in working the oars. They repaired the damage with a piece of spun yarn, but it soon gave way, and at the lighthouse they repaired the breach again with the aid of some nails and hammer given them, but only to be smashed a third time.
They then worked the oars, kept in their place by on the side of the boat by their hand, and succeeded in gaining the barque, and lay to on her port quarter. They saw Captain Johnson with a grass line in his hand, and he made an attempt to throw it, but it fell short of the boat, and floated, when it was picked up by one of the crew. They held on for five minutes, and thought that the men would be able to come into the boat, but they were too exhausted. One of the boats crew desired them to go into the cabin and come out on the stern ports, and one of them followed his advice; but, just at that moment a wave drove the boat adrift, broke the routs, and unshipped the oars out of their place of pulling.
They were then drifted away from the vessel, and the sea ran so short that they had great difficulty in saving their lives. They made for Ballurgan, and succeeded in reaching it after great difficulty. There were eleven persons on deck, but they appeared very weak, and they were unable to speak so as to be heard in the storm. Thus Friday closed, and darkness came on without any prospect of the saving the lives of the sufferers. But friends were at work which no one in Dundalk were aware of. A boat put off from Gyles's Quay, nearly opposite Soldiers Point, manned by Robert Sharkey, chief boatman of the Coast-gaurds; Patrick Berry, Coast-guard; Thomas Gallagher, fisherman; and John Cannon and Owen Hanlon, extra men of the station. She started about five o'clock, and at eight the joyful intelligence arrived in Dundalk that Captain Johnson and six men of the crew had been landed at Soldiers Point. Captain Johnson requested to be taken to the Enterprise, where his hands, arms, and legs, swollen from his dreadful sufferings were attended to by Dr Gartlan. The six men belonging to the crew were taken to lodgings, and everything done for them to relieve their sufferings. Their hands and legs were also much swollen, and one of them had a cut on his head which he had received from a fall from the rigging whilst asleep, and had there not been two or three feet of water over the veseel he would have been killed. They were also attended by Dr Gartlan.
The brave men who rescued these sufferers pulled for Gyles's Quay, where they left Berry and Hanlon, who were exhausted , and took in their place Owen Gallagher and Owen Connor, and again started for the barque, to take off the Captain and three men who remained behind, Captain Hill, of the Mary Stoddart, refusing to leave the vessel till all survivors should be taken off. These they succeeded in landing at George's Quay on Saturday morning, and they are now in lodgings attended by Dr Gartlan and progressing favourably. Captain Johnson speaks in the highest terms of the way the boat was managed by Mr Sharkey and his crew. He also states that they had no food from Tuesday till Friday, and they suffered dreadfully from thirst, the only drink within their reach being bottles of sauce, of which they drank a couple of spoonfuls occasionally; two small tins of preserved meat which were washed on deck were divided amongst the survivors.
The names of the survivors along with Captain JOhnson, are - Avery Hill, the captain of the barque; Archibald Hogg, mate, (his legs in a very bad state, and it is feared that they are frozen); John Davis, second mate; George Bonner, carpenter; Charles Strom, seaman; George M'Donnell (an American), seaman; James Birch, seaman; John Banks, apprentice; Richard Wray, a Scarborough lad, apprenticed; C. Walsh, an apprentice. This lad a fine boy of 14 years, held out with great courage; he had a rope tied around him, but could not hold it with his hands, as they were lacerated as if with a knife, in holding the ropes.
Lost - John Baptist, John Cole, Thomas ashworth, William Morris, Percival Mann, Richardson Lancaster, the latter was an apprentice belonging to Scarbro', he was washed out of the mizen riggings, Guiseppe Consauito, and Captain Kelly with three men. It also became known that a boat, with four fishermen as pilots, was lost alongside the Mary Stoddart on the previous Monday night.
The Mary Stoddart was the property of Messrs. White, Smith, Lister, Mann and Herbert. We are informed that the vessel was insured in the Scarboro', General, and Star Insurance Associations.