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.

The sufferings and privations endured by the officers and crew of the Banterer, during such trying circumstances, have been ably described in the above narrative of Captain Shephard.  From the 29th of October, to the 24th of November, a period of twenty-seven days, these men, with little hopes of succour, had borne, with almost unexampled fortitude, not only hunger and cold, but, to use the words of the surgeon, ’a considerable number of the crew were affected with inflammation of the extremities, which in nearly twenty cases produced partial mortification, and one extensive gangrene on both feet, attended with delirium and other dangerous symptoms.’

Captain Shephard died, as rear-admiral, in 1841.


His Majesty’s Ship Crescent, of 36 guns, Captain John Temple, sailed from Yarmouth about four o’clock in the afternoon of the 29th of November, 1808, for Gottenburg.  When she left Yarmouth, the wind blew fresh from the south-west, and it continued favourable till the following afternoon, when the weather became overcast, and the wind increased to a gale.  The vessel proceeded on her course for some days, and at daylight, on the 5th of December, the coast of Norway was discernible from the deck.  At one o’clock, P.M., they sounded in twenty-five fathoms, on the coast of Jutland; an hour later they sounded in eighteen fathoms, and at three o’clock they were in thirteen fathoms.  The pilots in charge of the Crescent requested the master to inform Captain Temple that they desired that the ship should be hove to, with her head to the southward, and the topsails close reefed.  The advice of the pilots was immediately acted upon, and they at the same time assured the captain that they were well acquainted with the soundings, and they had no doubt the ship would drift with safety.  Suddenly she did drift into ten fathoms, and remained in that depth until eight o’clock, P.M.

Captain Temple felt anxious for the safety of his ship and her crew, and he inquired of the pilots if any alteration could be made with advantage.  They replied that none was necessary; but that the Crescent should be kept on the same tack till daylight.  The vessel drifted till ten o’clock, P.M. when she struck.  A boat was immediately lowered to sound.  The men reported the current setting to eastward at the rate of two and a-half or three miles an hour.

As the sails were now only forcing the ship further on the shoal, orders were given to furl, and to hoist out all the boats except the jolly-boat and gig—­both of these orders were promptly obeyed.  At this time, the current was taking the ship on the larboard bow, and canting her round.  In order to draw her off, the sails were loosed; but this, instead of having the desired effect, hove her round into a worse position than before.  The sails were again furled, and an anchor and cable were got into the launch.  The boats then took the launch in tow,

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