THE WRECK OF THE AMALIE
On Monday morning, at an early hour, a Dutch brig, was observed in distress in the West Bay, near Portland, and in close proximity to the shore. The Coastguard were called together, and, under the direction of Mr BOXHALL, Chief Officer, the rocket apparatus was conveyed to the beach. A rocket without a line was fired into a spot which it was intended the Captain should steer for, and to let the crew know assistance was at hand. A number of the Portland fishermen also congregated on the beach, and made signals for the brig to run into Chesil Cove, the only spot on this part of the coast where a landing can be effected. The signals were understood, and the ship’s head was pointed for the cove. She came in with great speed and cleared the rocks surrounding the cove by a few yards only. Had she struck on these she must have gone to pieces without those assembled on the beach being able to render the least assistance. The brig grounded with considerable force, and became firmly embedded in the soft shingle. A rocket was brought to bear as soon as she struck, and a line was laid across the yardarm braces; but, owning to the crowd on the beach, there was considerable difficulty in firing the rocket, which caused a delay of several minutes. The brig had no sooner grounded than the mate EMIR BRYOTT, and an ordinary seaman named JOACHIM BREOS, thinking to save their lives, descended from the ship’s bows by means of a cable. The moment they reached the beach there was no sea, the previous wave had receded; but before they could get away from the ship a heavy sea came round by her stern, overtook them, and carried them away, those looking on having no power to save them. Had it not been for such undue haste the poor fellows’ lives would have been saved. The sea at this time was breaking over the vessel with terrific force, the waves often going up higher than the yards. A brave fellow named THOMAS FLANN, a Portland fisherman, determined, notwithstanding, to go on board. For this purpose he was made secure by a rope fastened around his waist, the end of which was intrusted to men on shore. Taking advantage of a receding wave, he dashed forward and succeeded in reaching a cable hanging from the ship’s bows before another wave returned. Climbing nimbly up, he was soon on board, when he found the whole of the crew in a most excited condition. Seeing the beach at times dry before them, they wanted to jump on it, their companion’s fate seeming to have no effect in checking them. FLANN, as well as he could, impressed upon them the necessity of remaining on board, assuring them that if they followed his directions he would land them safely. One man, however, was so excited that it was only by use of physical force FLANN restrained him from leaving the ship. In the meantime some more of the Portland fishermen contrived to get on board the vessel, but this was a work of the greatest danger, for in one or two cases the waves took them off their feet, and it was with difficulty they were dragged on shore with ropes. One after another, FLANN, succeeded in lowering eight of the crew, who also had lines attached to them, and, as soon as these reached the beach, men rushed into the sea and brought them safely on shore. When FLANN had rescued the last man he was cheered heartily; and too much praise cannot be accorded to this gallant fellow for the cool and daring manner in which he acted when opportunity permitted. The ship was boarded by the Coastguard and men were employed to strip her, every moveable article being conveyed to a place of safety and guarded. The vessel was ultimately handed over to the charge of the Hanoverian Consul. She is named the AMALIE, and is of 180 tons burden, in ballast, from Hamburg for St Thomas. The Captain is HAUS WILHELM STELUHOLTZ and the owner Mr E H MULLER. She is 18 years old, and was 11 days from Hamburg, eight of which had been spent in beating about the Channel. The Captain states that he never experienced such severe weather as he then passed through. On Sunday he made the Lizard, but, owing to the bad weather, was compelled to return. It is said that he was out in his reckoning, mistaking Portland for the Needles. About 100 soldiers belonging to the 51st regiment were marched from the Barracks to the beach to render assistance. While they were so occupied a huge wave dashed in, completely enveloping 20 or 30 of them. Three or four were knocked down, and had it not been for persons standing near, who rushed to their assistance, they would have been washed out to sea. The body of the unfortunate gentleman who was washed off Bridport Pier on Saturday, was discovered on Sunday on the beach at Langdon, four or five miles distant.
German Brig – Captain Hoo Steinholtz. Beached in Chesil Cove where two crew were drowned Joaclin Breos and Emier Bryott. Salvage of tobacco and spirits was supervised by P. S. Freeman. Vessel was auctioned by Mr T. R. Charles and purchased by Messrs Comben & Ward. Ship was re-floated.
Refs. LePard: p27; DCC: 18/02/1869 & LARN.
Day of Loss: 1
Month of Loss: 2
Year of Loss: 1869