At length two sloops, which had heard the guns of distress, anchored close to the wreck, took off the survivors, twenty at a time, from the shrouds, and in the morning conveyed them to Weymouth; so far from crowding into the boats, they got off one by one, as called upon by those who commanded the boats. One still remained; the sixth mate ascended the mast and found him in a state of insensibility; he bore him down on his back, and with his burden reached the boat in safety; but the delivered person died the next day.
When the awful words were heard, “The ship must go down,” three of the cadets went into the cabin, where they stood for a short time, looking at each other, without saying a word. At length one said, “Let us return to the deck;” two did so, but the other remained below. He opened his desk, took out his commission, his introductory letters, and some money, went on deck, but saw neither of his companions. Then looking forward, he saw the ship going down head foremost, and the sea rolling in an immense column along the deck. He tried to ascend the steps leading to the poop, but was launched among the waves encumbered by boots and a great coat, and unable to swim. Afterwards, finding himself on the opposite side, he conceived that when the stern of the ship sunk, he would be drawn into the vortex. While struggling to keep himself afloat, he seized something which frequently struck the back of his hand, and found it to be a rope hanging from the mizzen-shrouds. Trying to ascend several feet by it, he fell into the sea; but by a sudden lurch from the ship, he was thrown into the mizzen-shrouds, where he fixed himself as well as circumstances would allow.
CRUISE OF THE SALDANHA AND TALBOT.
BY ONE OF THE OFFICERS.
At midnight of Saturday, the 30th of November, 1811, with a fair wind and a smooth sea, we weighed from our station, in company with the Saldanha frigate, of thirty-eight guns, Captain Packenham, with a crew of three hundred men, on a cruise, as was intended, of twenty days—the Saldanha taking a westerly course, while we stood in the opposite direction.
We had scarcely got out of the lock and cleared the heads, however, when we plunged at once into all the miseries of a gale of wind blowing from the west. During the three following days it continued to increase in violence, when the islands of Coll and Tiree became visible to us. As the wind had now chopped round more to the north, and continued unabated in violence, the danger of getting involved among the numerous small islands and rugged headlands, on the north-west coast of Inverness-shire, became evident. It was therefore deemed expedient to wear the ship round, and make a port with all expedition. With this view, and favored by the wind, a course was shaped for Lochswilly, and away we scudded under close-reefed foresail and main-topsail, followed by a tremendous sea, which