ELIZABETH

Brigantine – Captain James French. Cargo COAL. Studland Bay, Poole. 1866 Gale

At an inquest on the wreck & loss of 4 crew, held in Poole Town Hall, Tues. 13th February 1866, one of the survivors, Edward Davis, stated:  The ELIZABETH, with captain, mate, 3 able seamen and a boy, anchored in Studland Bay on the 10th.  At 3.30 a.m. Sunday the gale commenced, and at 7 a.m. the vessel dragged and they went on the shoal ground, continued to strike the bottom, then the mate came on deck and said the cabin was breaking up.  We had shown a pilot jack for almost an hour, and now distress signals, but no one came to our rescue.  Eventually a pilot boat came near, but would not come alongside, and told the captain we would have to use our boat, to which he replied, ‘Anything for the best, Ned’. When only 20 fathoms from the pilot boat, close under Studland, we capsized.  I found the boy, grabbed his hair and held him up for 3 or 4 minutes but had to let him go to save myself, I never saw him again.  I then swam a mile and a quarter to shore.

DCC: 17/02/1866 – Wreck
DCC: 24/12/1866 – Inquiry


Day of Loss: 11

Month of Loss: 2

Year of Loss: 1866


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