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.

’We found her heeling so much outward, that her main-channels were within a foot of the water; and the large floe-piece which was still alongside of her, seemed alone to support her below water, and to prevent her falling over still more considerably.  The ship had been forced much farther up the beach than before, and she had now in her bilge above nine feet of water, which reached higher than the lower-deck beams.  On looking down the stern-post, which, seen against the light-coloured ground, and in shoal water, was now very distinctly visible, we found that she had pushed the stones at the bottom up before her, and that the broken keel, stern-post, and dead wood had, by the recent pressure, been more damaged and turned up than before.  She appeared principally to hang upon the ground abreast the gangway, where, at high water, the depth was eleven feet alongside her keel; forward and aft, from thirteen to sixteen feet; so that at low tide, allowing the usual fall of five or six feet, she would be lying in a depth of from five to ten feet only.  The first hour’s inspection of the Fury’s condition too plainly assured me, that, exposed as she was, and forcibly pressed up upon an open and stony beach; her holds full of water, and the damage of her hull, to all appearance and in all probability, more considerable than before, without any adequate means of hauling her off to the seaward, or securing her from the incursions of the ice, every endeavour of ours to get her off, or if got off, to float her to any known place of safety, would at once be utterly hopeless in itself, and productive of extreme risk of our remaining ship.

’Being anxious, however, in a case of so much importance, to avail myself of the judgment and experience of others, I directed Captain Hoppner, in conjunction with Lieutenants Austin and Sherer, and Mr. Pulfer, carpenter, being the officers who accompanied me to the Fury, to hold a survey upon her, and to report their opinions to me.  And to prevent the possibility of the officers receiving any bias from my own opinion, the order was given to them the moment we arrived on board the Fury.

’Captain Hoppner and the other officers, after spending several hours in attentively examining every part of the ship, both within and without, and maturely weighing all the circumstances of her situation, gave it as their opinion that it would be quite impracticable to make her sea-worthy, even if she could be hauled off, which would first require the water to be got out of the ship, and the holds to be once more entirely cleared.  Mr. Pulfer, the carpenter of the Fury, considered that it would occupy five days to clear the ship of water; that if she were got off, all the pumps would not be sufficient to keep her free, in consequence of the additional damage she seemed to have sustained:  and that, if even hove down, twenty days’ work, with the means we possessed, would be required for making her sea-worthy.  Captain

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