Narratives of Shipwrecks of the Royal Navy; between 1793 and 1849 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 387 pages of information about Narratives of Shipwrecks of the Royal Navy; between 1793 and 1849.

’As the ship was then striking very hard, with a heavy sea breaking over her in a body, we cut away the topmasts, not only to ease her, but to prevent their falling upon deck; we also endeavoured to shore up the ship, but the motion was so violent that four and six parts of a five-inch hawser were repeatedly snapped, with which we were lashing the topmasts as shores, through the main-deck ports.  At about eight P.M., fearing the inevitable loss of the ship, as the water was then gaining on the pumps, I availed myself of the first favourable moment to land the sick, and a party of marines and boys with some provisions,—­this could only be effected at a certain time of tide, even with the wind off shore,—­and employed those on board in getting upon deck what bread and other provisions could be come at.

’Though the water was still gaining on the pumps as the flood made, the wind coming more round to the northward, we again set our foresail, but without the desired effect.  As the stream anchor had, however, come home, the wind was too doubtful to attempt to lighten the ship.

’On the morning of the 30th, it being moderate, with the wind off shore, we hove our guns, shot, and everything that could lighten the ship, overboard, reserving two on the forecastle for signals.  As the flood made, we again set what sail we could, and hove on the stream cable,—­though, with all hands at the pumps, we found the water increase in the hold as it flowed alongside; and it was the prevailing opinion that the ship would have foundered if got off.  Being now convinced, from concurring circumstances, as well as the repeated representations of the carpenter, that the ship could not swim, the water having flowed above the orlop deck, and much sand coming up with the pumps, we desisted from further attempts to get her off the shoal, and continued getting such stores and provisions as we could upon deck.

’Towards the afternoon, the wind again increasing from the W.S.W., and the water being on the lower deck, I judged it proper to send some provisions, with such men as could be best spared, on shore, that, in the event of the ship going to pieces, which was expected, the boats might be the better able to save those remaining on board; and on the morning of the 31st, conceiving every further effort for the preservation of the ship unavailing, it then blowing strong, with every appearance of increasing, I felt myself called on, by humanity as well as duty to my country, to use every effort in saving the lives of the people intrusted to my care, and accordingly directed the boats to land as many of them as possible, keeping the senior lieutenant and a few others on board with me.

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Narratives of Shipwrecks of the Royal Navy; between 1793 and 1849 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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