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

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 346 pages of information about Narratives of Shipwrecks of the Royal Navy; between 1793 and 1849.

However, it was a great thing to be on shore; for many of the people had suffered severely from being so closely stowed in the bottom of the boats, and their limbs had been terribly cramped.  They now wisely endeavoured to make themselves as comfortable as circumstances allowed, by lighting a fire to keep off the insects, and to dry their clothes, and then they composed themselves to sleep, which they much needed.  The next morning, being somewhat refreshed, they started across the bay to a place called Margante, which they reached about eight o’clock.  Here they found the people well disposed towards them, and they were able to purchase some beef and plantains, and plenty of good water, of which they all gladly partook.  The inhabitants informed them that it was probable they might find a vessel at Port Plata that could take them to St. Thomas’s, that being the nearest port where they were likely to fall in with any of His Majesty’s ships.  On the 30th of June, they departed from Margante, taking with them a pilot, to guide them to Port Plata.  In order to ease the boats, Captain Bertram and part of the ship’s company walked along the shore.  Towards evening, the people had gone upwards of twenty miles, and were so exhausted, they were obliged to put into a small bay called Scott’s Bay (B.  Ecossaise), where they came on shore and erected a tent, with the sails of the boats and a few logs of mahogany.  With the help of some turtle, the whole of the ship’s company were supplied with food; and they remained on shore till the next morning, when the boats were again launched, and all the party embarked in them, as there was no way along the beech.  They arrived safely at Port Plata at eleven o’clock that night, and were received with great kindness and humanity.  Three houses were provided for the men and one for the officers, and everything was done that could alleviate their sufferings.  Unfortunately there was no vessel at Port Plata large enough to convey them to St. Thomas’s.  With some difficulty, a boat was procured, in which Lieutenant Price was despatched to Turk’s Island, with a letter to the naval officer there, describing the situation of the crew of the Persian, and requesting that assistance might be afforded to Lieutenant Price to enable him to hire a vessel to take the crew to St. Thomas’s.

Lieutenant Price made a successful voyage, and returned to Port Plata on the 10th of July, with the government schooner Swift, and a hired sloop.  Three days were spent in fitting out these vessels with the necessary stores, and on the evening of the 13th, the ship’s company, to the number of 112, embarked in them, and arrived at St. Thomas’s on the 22nd.  The crew was by this time in a very sickly state; the crowded state of the ships had engendered a complaint of which the surgeon died an hour after they cast anchor; and there is little doubt that had they been forty-eight hours longer on their passage, many others would have fallen victims to the same disease.  At St. Thomas’s, the sufferers received the care and attention they required, and were sent home to England.

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