The Coastguard Cutter Vol6 No1

The Coastguard Cutter
January 08 Edition

Vol 6 No. 1.

"The Lady Margaret"



Hello Friend,

We wish a very Happy New Year to all our readers.

For many, many years The Night of the Big Wind, 1839, remained in the memory of people all over Ireland. It was a sad night for the Coastguard Service in Ireland.




We have forborne for the last week from making any mention of the above most melancholy event from a regard to the feelings of the relatives of the unhappy sufferers, in the anxious hope that some intelligence might reach us, but alas in vain. We feel it now our duty to announce the loss of this gallant Cutter in the late storm and her entire crew of 41 men, besides some passengers. Her Commander, Sir John Reid, remained in Liverpool after his last cruise and thus escaped a watery grave. The 'Diligence' was proceeding to the coast of Donegal, under command of the Chief Mate. She came to in Glenarm Bay, on the evening of Sunday, the 6th.inst. and there took on board one of the coastguards, who had been recently promoted, with his wife and family of young children, in order to land them at Donegal. It is presumed that the unfortunate Cutter perished somewhere about the Causeway, as some oars, pieces of timber and the stern of a boat, with the Queens mark upon them, were we understand, washed ashore near Ballycastle,in the course of the week. On this is the only certainty of the sad calamity, added to the fact that she has since not been heard of, and the almost impossibility of any craft living in such a sea as must have run about Rathlin, and along that coast, during the hurricane. (Ulster Times)

Ref: The Dublin Evening Mail. Friday 25th. January 1839.


The 'Kite', Revenue Cruiser had set out in search of the missing vessel proceeded to Islay, where she fell in with several articles belonging to the 'Diligence', and among the rest, the Commander, Mr.Titley's desk, and a pair of boots with his name marked inside of them, a hammock marked no. 13 and a bed, and many other things which the crew new to be part of the wreck. Her crew consisted of 40 seamen, besides a Waterguardsman, his wife and 4 children whom they had taken on board. Of the crew 16 belonged to this town, 8 of whom were married, all of them were able stout men, from 24 to 41 years of age. (Greenock Advertiser)

Ref: The Dublin Evening Mail Monday 11th.February 1839.

Presentation at Kingstown. Chief Coastguard Officer Complimented. 1904.

An interesting function took place on Tuesday evening at the Kingstown Coastguard Station, when Mr.Garnham F.Green, Chief Officer, Coastguards, Kingstown, was presented with a testimonial from the inhabitants of Glenarm and Carnlough, where he was for the space of over14 years Chief Officer of Coastguards and from which he was recently promoted to the more important Kingstown. The testimonial which took the form of a purse of gold and a handsomely framed and illuminated address was presented on Tuesday night on behalf of the subscribers by the Very Rev. Canon Dudley James, B.D. Rural Dean and Rector of Glenarm. As testifying the universal good opinion in which Mr.Green was held by his friends and neighbours in county Antrim, it is interesting to note that the signatories of the address represent all the religions up North, being members of the following churches:- Unitarian, Church of Ireland, Prebysterian, and Roman Catholic.The address which was signed by Joseph Charles, S.F.Dudley James, B.D. Alex Crawford, and Hugh McEvoy, expressed the subscribers high sense of the efficiency and courtesy with which Mr.Green fulfilled his public duties, and his unfailing kindness in public life, and though regretting his transfer, ties which for 14 years had bound them in such pleasant intercourse, rejoiced to know that he had been deemed worthy to undertake the very responsible duties of such an important station as Kingstown and hopeful it might be a step towards higher office in His Majesty’s Navy and wished Mr.Green and his family every happiness.

Mr.Green requested Canon Dudley-James to convey to his friends his thanks for their beautiful address and the accompanying purse of Sovereigns, and said he really could not express his gratitude sufficiently for the kindly feelings and sentiments which prompted the presentation. He very much regretted being compelled to sever his connections with Glenarm and Carnlough as his long stay in their midst was a pleasant one and was made so by the uniform kindness of one and all. From the first day of his arrival he was made to feel he was one of themselves. On behalf of his wife and family he thanked his friends for their kind wishes for their future happiness and welfare.

Ref: Wicklow News-Letter Saturday 16th.April 1904.

An Afflicting Death. 1841

A remarkable fine child, between four and five years old, belonging to a most respectable man in the Preventive Service stationed in Glenarm, was amusing itself on Sunday last, with her sisters in the kitchen; there was on the fire at the time a saucepan containing soup in preparation for dinner, when the poor child tripped, fell against the handle, and brought the whole contents of the saucepan upon its breast, neck and body. At first danger was not apprehended, but in a short time the poor little sufferer began to sink, and expired on Monday evening .It is impossible to conceive a more conflicting stroke than the death of a dear child under such circumstances. The instant before the fatal accident it was all health, playfulness and promise and in a moment after it was laid on the bed of suffering and in a few hours lay dead. (Ulster Times)

Ref: Saturday; Saunders News-Letter 30th.January 1841.

Schooner ashore at Glenarm. 1851

We have received from Mr. J.B.Bankhead, J.P. of Glenarm the following communication relative to a vessel chartered for this port:- Saturday. Lieut. Thompson of the Coast Guard, brought under my notice a vessel drifting on the rocks near Garron Point Glenarm Bay. We both went over to the Point and found her to be the schooner ‘Broomielaw’ of Sligo, laden with flour, meal etc. for Newry, She was beating heavily against the rocks, only a few fathoms from the shore; but I fear, both vessel and cargo will be a total loss, as from the very heavy sea, nothing could be done. I have not yet been able to find out who, in Newry, the cargo is for. (Newry Telegraph)

Ref: Saunders News Letter Wednesday 14th.May 1851.

Nautical  Terms


The British Navy filled their ships' crew quotas by kidnapping men off the streets and forcing them into service. This was called impressment and was done by the PRESS Gangs.


Currently means something is about to happen, as in -"Thereis a reorganisation in the offing". From the 16th century usage meaning a good distance from shore, barely visible from land, as in-"We sighted a ship IN THE OFFING".

Revenue Fleet News
Revenue Fleet NewsShipwrecks and Loss of life.  How Strand. 1848.

Dec.16.- The bark ‘Severn’ of and to London, from St.John’s, with a cargo of deals and sleepers, Richard Cresca, master, has been totally wrecked. The Coast Guard promptly lent their assistance, and with the aid of Dennett’s rockets, succeeded in putting a line over her, by which means the lives of 15 of the crew were fortunately saved. Two were drowned owing to their own neglect in not securing themselves properly to the hawser. The inhabitants seconded in every way the exertions of the Coast Guard to render aid. On the previous day Lieutenant Triphook, in the ‘Hamilton’ Revenue cruiser, proceeded to this vessels assistance. She was reported to be at anchor off the Barrel Rocks. He burned a blue light and fired two rockets, which were answered by the ship’s lanterns. The ‘Hamilton’ being steered for the light found her to be the ‘Severn’ 29 days out, with her masts cut away, and riding easily to her anchor. From the heavy ground sea and the wind being right in, the ‘Hamilton’ could render no assistance further than for Lieutenant Triphook to urge the captain to get his boats ready for landing, but he seemed not inclined to leave the vessel. One boat with four men was got out, rowed astern of the cruiser, and the men were pulled up with great difficulty-the boat being set adrift. The gale coming on most heavily with a tremendous sea the ‘Hamilton’ was unable to remain any longer by the vessel, and having put to sea, by carrying a heavy press of canvas, she was enabled to be kept off the shore until daylight, when she ran for Courtmashery, and arrived there safely.

Reference; The Times, London  20 December 1848

UK CG NewsCoastguard News from England

Portsmouth, Wednesday. (summarised)

The Skylark 2. Lieutenant-Commander George Morris (1823) having sailed from Portsmouth on Thursday, April 24, with 68 supernumeries on board, which with her own crew made a total of 110 men on board, struck on Coalpit Ledge near Kimberidge on the 26th in thick fog. After about an hour, the fog lifted and the crew could hear shouting from the nearby cliffs that rescue was on its way from the Coastguard station. The Coastguard were under the command of Lieutenant Smith, one of the Skylark’s boats upset as the Coastguard approached and Commander Morris’ 11 year old son was nearly drowned, but was saved by one of the Coastguards named Crawley who swam out to him and held him up until Lieutenant Smith could get to them. Eventually all were saved. Some by the Coastguard and others making their own way in the Skylark’s boats under assistance from the Coastguards.

Ref: The Times, London 1 May 1845.


Preventive Service Swanage. 1827

The following statement will prove the effectiveness of our Preventive Cervice in counteracting the contraband system.

On the 2nd of February last, Lieutenant T. Holman of the Coast Guard station at Swanage, secured 91 tubs of spirits, and a flagon of champagne, that had been sunk in the early part of December, notwithstanding five unsuccessful on the part of the smugglers to creep them up. In a few days after the above capture another cargo was sunk, the moorings of which were broken by the heavy gales. When 30 of the 110 tubs, which had been stranded, were secured, the remainder being dashed to pieces by the violence of the waves.

Ref: Freemans Journal 27 March 1827.

Coming in Febuary Edition.

The Coastguard who fought at Trafalgar.





Editors Note.  You may recall from our December issue of the Coastguard Cutter that we included a light-hearted story of an ailing nun in an Irish convent and her introduction to something "strong" in her glass of warm milk. The day we posted the News-Letter we received the following email from a reader and I thought you might like to see it;

Thank you to Philip and Tony for interesting info as usual plus some great laughs.

Hearing me laughing loudly at the Mother in the convent story my wife came in from the kitchen; it really caught our fancy because some years ago when her Dad in his eighties was having trouble sleeping his doctor advised him to have a drop or two of whisky with a glass of  milk to help him to sleep.

Bearing in mind the man had been a strict Pioneer all his life nevertheless he followed the doctors advice. All went well until one afternoon he sent a message to his family to come quickly as he felt very poorly.

Being questioned by his daughters as to when he had eaten and so forth they noticed that the whisky bottle was well 'below the water line'; it finally became clear that the 87 year old was somewhat tipsy for the first time in his life; he had lost count of how many glasses of milk he had consumed!





+ + + +
e: | w:


powered by

0 Comments · 5129 Reads · Print  -> Posted by Tony on May 01 2008


No Comments have been Posted.

Post Comment

Please Login to Post a Comment.