The moment the vessel sunk, many of the men struck out for the plank nearest to them; a few of the strongest and best swimmers gained the raft, but others who were benumbed with cold, or otherwise unable to swim, perished immediately. The quarter-master was one of those who reached the raft, and he found the captain, the doctor, and some others, already upon it. Captain Scott was so much exhausted by the mental and bodily sufferings he had endured, that the doctor and the quarter-master were obliged to support him on the raft. He became gradually weaker, and lingered but a short time ere he expired in their arms; and a few minutes afterwards a huge wave swept over the raft, and bore with it the body of the lamented commander of the Boreas. About eight o’clock in the morning, a number of boats put out from Guernsey to the relief of the survivors, and carried them safely on shore.
We have already mentioned the cowardly and inhuman conduct of the pilots in deserting the Boreas, and it is also a matter of surprise, that although twenty guns were fired as signals, and several rockets and blue lights burned, no help of any kind was sent from the shore till the next morning. One of the witnesses on the court-martial affirmed, that a pilot on shore had heard the guns firing, and had inquired of a soldier on guard whether it was an English or French man-of-war! On the soldier replying that he thought it was an English vessel, the man refused to put to sea, saying, by way of excuse, that ‘it blew too hard.’
Through the exertions of Lieut. Colonel Sir Thomas Saumarez, about thirty seamen and marines were taken off the rocks of the Hannois at daylight, making the entire number saved about sixty-eight; whilst the loss amounted to one hundred and twenty-seven.
The following is an extract from the dispatch of Vice-Admiral Sir James Saumarez:—’The greatest praise appears due to Captain Scott and his officers and men, under such perilous circumstances—in a dark and tempestuous night, in the midst of the most dangerous rocks that can be conceived, and I have most sincerely to lament the loss of so many brave officers and men, who have perished on this melancholy occasion.
’Captain Scott has been long upon this station, and has always shown the greatest zeal and attachment to his Majesty’s service, and in him particularly his country meets a great loss, being a most valuable and deserving officer.’
The Hirondelle, a 14-gun brig, had been originally a French privateer. She was taken by the boats of the Tartar in the year 1804, when attempting to escape from that vessel through a narrow and intricate channel between the islands of Saona and St. Domingo. The Tartar finding from the depth of the water that she could not come up with the schooner, despatched three of her boats under the command of Lieutenant Henry Muller, assisted by Lieutenant Nicholas Lockyer