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.

Here we cannot refrain from relating an instance of the coolness which is so often characteristic of the British sailor.  Amongst those who survived in the foretop were two seamen, Robert Dunlap, and Daniel Munroe; the latter disappeared in the night, and his companion concluded that he had been washed away with the others.  About two hours, however, after he had been missed, Munroe, to the surprise of Dunlap, thrust his head through the lubber’s hole.  Dunlap asked where he had been.

‘Been.’ said Munroe; ’I’ve been cruizing, d’ye see, in search of a better berth.’

After swimming about the wreck for a considerable time, he had returned to the fore-shrouds, and crawling in at the cat-harpings, had been sleeping there more than an hour.

When the morning dawned, there were only eight men still alive on the rigging, and no effort was made to rescue them until about eleven o’clock, A.M., when a boy of thirteen years of age put out alone, in a small skiff from Herring Cove, to their assistance, thus setting a noble example of humanity and heroism to older and more experienced men, who should have been leaders, and not followers, on such an occasion.  With great courage and skill, and at the peril of his life, he reached the wreck, and backing his skiff close to the foretop, carried off two of the people.  Upon this occasion, also, a noble instance of the magnanimity of the true British tar was displayed.

Munroe and Dunlap, who, during the night, had preserved their strength and spirits, and had done everything in their power to sustain their less fortunate comrades, refused to quit the wreck until the other two men, who were so exhausted as to be unable to make any effort for their own safety, were taken on shore.  They accordingly lifted them into the skiff, and the gallant boy rowed them off in triumph to the Cove, and deposited them in safety in the nearest cottage.

He again put off in his skiff, but this time all his efforts were unavailing, and he was obliged to return.  His gallant example, however, had the effect of inducing others to make the attempt, and the six survivors were conveyed to the shore in large boats.


Before concluding this chapter, we will briefly relate another catastrophe, somewhat similar to that of the Amphion, but which affords a still more remarkable instance of the preservation of four individuals, from one of whom the following particulars were ascertained:——­

It appears that the RESISTANCE, of 44 guns, Captain Edward Pakenham, had anchored in the Straits of Banca, on the 23rd of July, 1798.  Between three and four o’clock in the morning of the 24th, the ship was struck by lightning:  the electric fluid must have penetrated and set fire to some part of the vessel near to the magazine, as she blew up with a fearful violence a few moments after the flash.  Thomas Scott, a seaman, one of the few survivors,

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