Spanish Brig – Cargo Sugar, Wine and Mahogany. Balaclava Bay. (LARN) Note: Rocket Apparatus. Ed C has a print. Seven rockets fired, one of which set the rigging alight. The crew initially failed to understand how the apparatus was supposed to be used. One crew man tied the rope around his waste, jumped into the sea, and was pulled ashore! Finally another rocket made communication and the rest of the crew, plus a pig, were saved. Also DCE: 11/11/1873 & DCC: 13 & 20/11/1873.
Caaermano De Camerinas – 1873
Reference, The Island & Royal Manor of Portland Historic Sources. DCC:13/11/1873.
“A Spanish Brig on shore.- During the gale of Saturday night and Sunday morning the Spanish brig CAAERMANO DE CAMARINAS, Captain Ambrosia Pose, whilst on a voyage from Centeufugos, Cuba, to London, came on shore in a small bight to the south of the Breakwater, locally known as Balaclava Bay, and in all probability will become a wreck. The ship encountered the gale in the Channel throughout the whole of Saturday, and about three o’clock on Sunday morning the captain brought up outside the harbour of refuge, not then exactly knowing the locality he had reached. From that time until daylight the ship was exposed to the full force of the weather, and with the returning light of day the captain saw the dangerous position he was in, being surrounded by a rocky and dangerous coast and only about 300 yards from the shore. Finding it would be impossible to get the vessel out again he determined to land, and for this purpose a boat was lowered, in which were placed the ship’s papers and such like; but she had no sooner touched the sea than she was immediately swamped, and afterwards washed on the rocks. A flag of distress was then hoisted, and as the ship was almost opposite a coastguard station the men brought their rocket apparatus to bear, but after several ineffectual attempts failed to get the line on board. The captain, finding the rocket would not reach them, deemed it prudent, in order to save the lives of all on board, to slip the cables and to allow the vessel to drive on shore, and this he succeeded in accomplishing, the brig coming under the cliff to within about 100 yards of the coastguard station. A rocket was again fired, and this time the line became fixed in the rigging in the mizen mast; but the crew seemed to be at a loss how to rig the apparatus, and in their ignorance fastened a lad to the small line, thinking that he was to be dragged through the surf to the shore. The shouts and gesticulations of the people assembled, however, prevented this, and the second mate, who throughout the affair seems to have acted with the greatest presence of mind fastened the main line, which had by this time been got on board, to the rigging. The place from which the rocket was fired was from a cliff, so that the cradle travelled backwards and forwards without touching the sea. The boy was first put into the breeches, and came safely on shore, and in the same manner the whole of the crew, 11 in number, were saved. They were taken care of by Mr. Richard Cox, of the firm of Roberts and Co., Spanish Vice-Consuls, and conveyed to the Breakwater Hotel, where they were provided with food and new clothing at the expense of the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society. During the afternoon a number of men were engaged in stripping the brig of ropes, sails, and other gear, the ship being so close to the shore that communication was made by means of a ladder fastened to her side. It was expected she would go to pieces with the return of high water; but, fortunately, both wind and sea were less violent, and she stood out the gale, and has continued to do so since. It is believed, however, she will never be got off, as her back and bilge are broken. She is laden with a very valuable cargo of mahogany, sugar, and wine. On Monday the crew were conveyed to the Sailors’ Home at Weymouth. A large number of vessels ran into the roadstead on Sunday to escape the gale. Amongst these was the brig BERTHA, of Guernsey, Fowler, master, stone laden; from that port to London. Whilst endeavouring to reach in she carried away her mainmast, foretopmast, and gear. One of our oldest Weymouth vessels, the brig VIVID, Captain Smith, was at one time in considerable danger. She loading with stone at Castletown pier, and when the gale set in was unable to leave it, although the COMMODORE steamer was sent for to take her in tow. It was feared that she would be greatly injured by collision with the pier, and she was sunk in order to prevent her being knocked to pieces.”
Day of Loss: 7
Month of Loss: 11
Year of Loss: 1873