The Coastguard Cutter Vol4 No8

August 2006
Vol. 4 - No. 08.


Kingstown Harbour Sunday.

A squadron of Revenue Cruizers, consisting of the largest and finest vessels in the Service, arrived this morning at Kingstown. They formed in two divisions outside, and came in to harbour in beautiful style - the 'Shamrock' with the broad pendant of the Inspector General, leading. The following are the names etc. of the cruizers arrived ; 'Shamrock', Lt.Keeling RN. 'Royal George' Lt.Handskip. 'Wickham' Lt.Davies RN. 'Dolphin' Lt. Blisset RN. 'Kite' W.H.Burke Esq. 'Prince of Wales' B.Oliver Esq. 'Prince Albert' Lt. Nind RN. 'Wellington' James Melville Esq. 'Hamilton' R.Triphook Esq. 'Hawk' Mark Mollard Esq. 'Neptune' Thomas Gumerson Esq. 'Chance' J.Carter Esq. 'Jane' S.McDonald Esq. 'Swift' H.D.Bateson Esq. 'Racer' Alex. Browne Esq. 'Eliza' Tender to 'Shamrock'

The object of this visit is a trial of speed with the 'Inconstant' frigate, being the quickest sailer in H.M.Service. The usual annual inspection will also take place. This being a fine day the appearance of the cruizers added much to the gaiety of the harbour. (2)


Wit & Wisdom of Ireland.

"Satire is a sort of glass, wherein beholders do generally discover every body's face but their own."

Jonathan Swift

For Coastguard Researchers. 

Some time ago I mentioned the publication of a book with Coastguard interest. Included in the book is a list of the names of 350 Coastguards, stationed in Ireland, who had completed their summer sea training  in 1875. Chris Thomas, the author kindly allowed publication, on this site of this list some months ago. Two days following the disembarking of the Coastguards the ship 'Vanguard' steamed out of Dublin Bay to join the Fleet for Battle exercises. Finding out what happened is a real good read.  

The book is called "Lamentable Intelligence from the Admiralty: the Sinking
of HMS Vanguard in 1875", published by Nonsuch Publishing of Dublin,
£14.99 (21.99 Euros),
ISBN 1-84588-544-9.
Nonsuch is a subsidiary of Tempus Publishing, and you can obtain a
small discount by ordering on line from  

A Must See.

Just received from a reader of The Cutter a link to  Pictures of Ireland  (c1900 I think) many photos to download. 


Coming in September Edition

What are Coastguards for?

 Are they kept for use or ornament ?"

Dear Friend,

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

Every summer the Revenue Cruisers and Cutters assembled at Kingstown Harbour (Dun Laoghaire, Dublin) for their annual inspection by their Commander-in Chief, Mr. Dombrain. The Officers and crews were eager to show off their sailing skills and win the approval of their beloved Commander.


Kingstown Regatta

August Trials

The Revenue Cruisers. Tuesday the fleet assembled at Kingstown went out on a short cruise, Sir Edward Blakeney, the Lieutenant General Commanding the Forces in Ireland embarked on board the ‘Shamrock’, Revenue brig at Kingstown, and proceeded with the Inspecting General of Coastguards, who got under weigh, with the squadron under his orders, consisting of the following vessels :- ‘Shamrock’ and ‘Prince of Wales’ (brigs). ‘Kite’, ‘Prince Albert’, ‘Royal George’, ‘Wickham’ (large cutters). ‘Swift’, ‘Wellington’, ‘Dolphin’, ‘Hawk’, ‘Chance’, ‘Racer’, and ‘Hamilton’. (smaller cutters) and the ‘Eliza’, ‘Jane’. and ‘Neptune’. (tenders). They formed two lines and shaped a course, with a light breeze to the southwards, returning in the same order to Kingstown about 5 o’clock in the afternoon.

There never were assembled a number of vessels in more perfect order and discipline, owing much to the zeal and efficiency of their Commander-in-Chief, Mr. Dombrain: and from what we have been enabled to learn, from their proceedings during the last weeks cruise, the ’Royal George’ had a slight advantage over the larger cutters of her class, but was closely pressed by the ‘Kite’, ‘Wickham’ and ‘Prince Albert’.

The ‘Shamrock’ maintained a decided advantage over her sister brig the ‘Prince of Wales’; and the beautiful appearance of the former reflects the greatest credit on Captain Keeling, her Commander. The ‘Chance’ maintained the high character she has already acquired beating everything opposed to her, with the exception of the four large cutters, above named, whose tonnage being nearly triple hers, rendered it impossible for her to cope with them, although only of 60 tons register, she beat everything opposed to her under 100 tons – and that not on one but of each day of trial: and to use the words of the Inspector general, ”in a manner that astonished the Fleet”. We must add that the arrival of this little vessel in Kingstown Harbour is always looked for by the amateurs on the pier as she affords them the greatest possible treat by the manner in which she is shot up to her moorings, whilst the cloud of white canvas she carries disappears in an instant, a manoeuvre, we must say, quite unequalled and, never attempted by any other vessel in the fleet.

This beautiful cutter was built by White of Cowes. The ‘Kite’ a great and deserved favourite on the Irish coast, commanded by as brave and honest seaman who ever trod a ships deck – Captain Burke – obtained an advantage on one days sailing. She, from age, might never be the fastest, but she is a sea boat that for hard service is fit to compare with any cutter carrying Her Majesty’s pennant. The fleet sailed on a cruise yesterday morning to the Isle of Man, and will return on Saturday to Kingstown. (1)

The Wicklow News Letter 22/07/1893


Death of Coastguard.

Melancholy and Fatal Accident.  July  1859.

On Saturday night, one of the Coastguards named Donovan, lost his life whilst on duty by falling down a precipice into a large hole called the Bishops Cave in the immediate vicinity of Dunmore East. On Monday James Delahunty, Esq. Coroner held an inquest on the body, and from the evidence adduced it appeared that the deceased having been called on duty on Saturday at 9 o’clock p.m. by Mr. Brown, Chief Boatman at the station, proceeded from Dunmore to Portally (the extreme limit of that district) by the cliff footway. He did not return to his station that night: on the following morning at an early hour a farmers servant saw something dark lying at the foot of the precipice, he having satisfied himself that it was a human being lying apparently dead immediately gave alarm.

The police at once  proceeded to the place of the unfortunate occurrence, where the object was ascertained to be the mortal remains of the missing Coastguard. The night of Saturday was exceedingly dark and on passing the cliff which was very dangerous and wholly unprotected, it is supposed he missed his footing and was precipitated down a distance of at least 50 feet and was no doubt instantly and unfortunately killed.

The jury returned a verdict of Accidental Death. The remains of the deceased were conveyed into Waterford after the inquest, and thence by rail to Ennis, from which place the body was brought for interment to Galway, his native place. (3)


R e v e n u e  F l e e t  N e w s

Cove of Cork.

Cove of Cork. Jan 2nd. The brig ‘Liverpool Packet’, Richmond, of Virginia, with a cargo of flour, and lying in the harbour, awaiting orders, took fire on Monday in the cabin at 3 p.m: on a signal of distress being given, assistance was dispatched from H.M. ships ‘Semiramis’ and ‘Victor’, from the Revenue Department, the boats of the Water-Guard and several from the shore. By the greatest exertion and the most imminent personal risk, the vessel being in a blaze of fire, they succeeded in saving part of the cargo and materials, which are deposited in a house near Aghada. The vessel continued burning all night, and this morning several boats and lighters have gone to her assistance.  (4)

Port News Galway 1823.

Arrived yesterday evening at our roadstead, his Majesty’s Revenue Cruiser, ‘Nepean’ Lieut. Burrowes, Commander, having in charge the ‘Clara’, smuggling lugger, captured some weeks ago off Westport. The ‘Clara’ was laden with tobacco and (jin?). The crew of the ‘Napean’ were this day busily employed in depositing the tobacco in the Custom-House store.  (5)


References :
  1. Saunders News-Letter Thursday 30th.July 1840.
  2. Evening Post Tuesday 28th.July 1840.
  3. Wexford Independent Saturday 30th. July 1859.
  4. Morning Register 6th.January 1827.
  5. Connaught Journal Monday 16 June 1823.

© 2001-2006 [coastguards of yesteryear]

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