The Coastguard Cutter Vol4 No6

June 2006
Vol. 4 - No. 06.


June 1915.

Ernest Baird, a Coastguard on duty at Wicklow was the victim of an accidental discharge of a firearm on Monday night. He was on the Murrough at 11 o’clock having in his possession a loaded revolver, and by some means or another, the weapon went off, and a bullet passed through his left hand, and entered his left leg below the knee. Dr. J.H.Halpin, the Coastguard doctor, was immediately summoned and dressed the wounds, and the injured man was subsequently conveyed to the County Infirmary, where he is detained, and is making satisfactory progress. (2)

Of interest to researchers.

Aidan Power has just produced, and published an excellent book called "Rock Island, Crookhaven" A Coastal Townland's History since 1800.

There is a wealth of information on the County Cork Crookhaven Lighthouse and also on the Coastguard. A well written and well illustrated book on the Island.

Published by Aidan Power (

ISBN 10: 0 9552684 0 0

ISBN 13: 978 0 9552684 0 3


Wit & Wisdom of Ireland.

A story which has gone the rounds for the past hundred years or so is a classic Irish joke which must be repeated. Two men were waiting for the local landlord to pass by so that they could ventilate his hide with buckshot. He was a long time in coming and an awful thought occurred to Mike.

'Paddy,' he said, 'say a prayer that nothing's happened to the poor man.'




Coming in July Edition

The USS Constellation and Famine Relief.

Dear Friend,

Welcome to the June edition of "The Coastguard Cutter".

"Friendly fire."

Far from 'friendly', such misdirected exchanges of rifle or cannon have caused many tragic deaths over the centuries and will continue to do so. Many self-inflicted injuries continue to occur through lack of care in handling fire-arms.



Smuggling. November 1821

A smuggler landed a considerable quantity of her cargo (tobacco) a few nights at Kilkee which was immediately purchased by the traffickers in this article who reside in that part of the west of this county. The Waterguard immediately received information where it was concealed, and repaired to three different places, and seized nearly the entire, leaving many speculators in the illicit trade penniless. We are informed that one person lost nearly 50 pounds by it. Some shots were exchanged between the revenue cutter off that station, and the Waterguard, etc whom the cutter took for those employed in smuggling- this is a report- and as, such we give it. During the confusion the smugglers made off. (Ennis Chronicle) (1)


Extraordinary Charge. September 1858.

At Ballycastle Petty Sessions on Wednesday last, a singular case was got up against a person named Kingston, who had been 37 years in the Coastguard Service, and who enjoys a good pension, but is now employed by the Presbyterian Church at Ballinglen. Informations were sworn against him that he said that the Queen ‘was guilty of murder, that she murdered the Chinese and Sepoys’. Mr. Fausett forwarded the information to the Government, who ordered to have Mr. Kingston summoned to the Petty Sessions, and if the case was proven to send him to trial. The case was fully investigated, and dismissed by the magistrates. It is said that proceedings will be taken against the parties who swore the information, as it is quite evident that the object was to injure Kingston, owing to his connection with the Presbyterian school. (3)

(Mayo Constitution)

Serious Accident. October 1833

On Monday night week, when some of the Water Guards were preparing to go on duty, a loaded pistol belonging to one of them of the name of Young, went off by accident, and very nearly occasioned the death of himself and one of his companions. The ball carried entirely away the fore finger of the left hand by the third joint, and passed so near the jaw of the other man, as to graze his cheek. Young’s finger was carried so clean off by the joint, that scarcely surgical operation was requisite, except to dress it – but one of many instances which are frequently occurring to show the great necessity there is for extreme caution in the use and handling of fire-arms. (Galway Advertiser)  (4)


Crookhaven Coastguard station can only be described as sited in a "majestic" situation.

The following is the text of a document produced at Crookhaven and dated March 1867.

We the undersigned Masters of vessels have pleasure in bearing testimony to the admirable manner in which the lives of the Crew of the Barque ‘Wolverine’ were saved on Sunday, March 17th.1867 during a furious storm from the S.E. by the exertions of Mr. Bridger, Chief Officer of Coastguards, and the men under his command at the Rock Island Station. The Rocket apparatus was managed with great skill and judgement and was the means of saving the lives of the Crew and bringing them all safely ashore at the Crookhaven Lighthouse.


J.Stavers, Brig ‘Durham’, J.Cooper Barque ‘St.Angelo’. August Rudin Ship ‘Sverige’, A.A.Braberg Barque ‘Waino’. S.M.Kulints Ship ‘Victor Emanuel’ Chris Evans, Ship ‘Her Royal Highness’. Isaac Notter, Ship Agent Crookhaven. John S.Sloane, M.R.I.A. Superintendent of Lighthouse Works etc.”



The CHICHESTER Revenue Cutter, commanded by Captain STEWART, anchored at Kilkerran bay  Cunemara), received some injury from lightning on the 7th inst., the Captain having narrowly escaped, but some of the crew received very slight injury. The cutter had been there for the purpose of co-operating with the Revenue Police under the command of Lieutenant M'DERMOTT, at Outerard, for the suppression of illicit distillation, and searched that coast and its many Islands, and we are happy to find there existed no symptoms of any such traffic among the peasantry. Friday June 17, 1863.

LEON XIII. 1907.

The French sailing ship, ‘Leon xiii’ was wrecked at Sarsfield Point in Mal Bay near Quilty, Co.Clare on 1-10-1907. She was carrying wheat from Port Pierre to Limerick. Her home port was Nantes. The wreck occurred in full view of the shore and all the crew were landed over two days. Local fishermen braved a terrible storm to bring off the first thirteen survivors. A Coastguard party bringing rocket apparatus traveled from Valentia on the gunboat ‘Skipjack’ and were met by a special train at Ennis. They could not reach the ship with their line despite their efforts.

The cruiser, HMS ‘Arrogant’, was detatched from the Atlantic fleet and rushed to assist. Her boats took off Captain Lucas and the remaining nine crew. The crew in gratitude raised a subscription for the construction of a new church at Quilty. It has a steeple in the form of a round tower and contains the ships bell. Another ship may have been lost at Quilty in the early years of this century. (5)

References :
  1. Freemans Journal 6th November 1821.
  2. Wicklow News-Letter Saturday 12th.June 1915.
  3. Saunders News-Letter Thursday 2nd.September 1858.
  4. Thursday Morning Register 24th.October 1833
  5. “Shipwrecks of the Irish Coast” Vol. 1. by Edward J.Bourke.

© 2001-2006 [coastguards of yesteryear]

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