Foundering of the Brig "Rival"

Foundering of the Brig "Rival".

In reference to the loss of the above vessel the Master has published the following statement :-

The Rival sailed from the Clyde on the of September 1854, bound for Genoa, with a cargo of iron and coal, from which day, until the 11th.September, nothing of moment occurred, when we then encountered very heavy weather, with a heavy head sea, and the brig sprang a leak. For a considerable time we were able to keep the pumps clear, but as the gale gradually increased, with a very heavy sea, the vessel straining very much, and shipping immense quantities of water, the leak gained on us, whereupon we deemed it prudent to bear up for the Channel.

It continued blowing a gale, with a very sea on, and the crew continually at the pumps, day and night, were unable to keep the water from gaining on us. When entering the Channel on the 24th. day of September, blowing a heavy gale, scudding under a close-reefed top-sail, with 6 feet of water in the ship's hold, a barque passed us at midnight, which I hailed, and was answered in English. I stated that our vessel was in a sinking state, and requested to be taken off: or for the barque to lay by us till day-light. But, notwithstanding our distress the barque squared away and left us to our fate.. By great and almost supernatural exertions, we managed to keep our vessel from going down during the night and until 1 o'clock next day when she foundered. Previous to the vessel sinking, I succeeded in getting the crew into the boats, together with some spirits and bread, and after much difficulty, we got safely landed at Greystones that night, wet and fatigued.

For the 3 days previously I was not in bed, and got, but little to eat. Upon our boat touching the beach at Greystones the Coastguards came alongside and seized everything we had, and even permitted the mob ashore to steal the small quantity of provisions left. The seamen were greatly distressed and annoyed at such a reception and rather than give the Coastguards the satisfaction of taking the spirits and tobacco etc. they threw them all overboard in their presence. Although wet with the sea washing over us, and very much fatigued, the Coastguard Officer denied us all shelter, and although it was night, we were obliged to walk to Bray, about 5 miles distant, not being able to get lodgings at Greystones. To the Captain of the Union, of Wicklow, who took us on board and gave us dry clothes, I beg to return grateful thanks on behalf of myself and crew, and also to Mr. Marshall, of this city, agent for the Shipwrecked Fishermen and Mariners Benevolent Society, who provided us with free passage to Belfast. (1)


On the 15th.April the Brig 'Rival' with a cargo of Iron went down off Greystones. The crew of nine escaped by boat. The Coastguard tried to seize all the Spirits and Tobacco that the shipwrecked men had in their boat but it was thrown overboard to thwart the authorities.. A dim view was taken and the crew were refused shelter by the coastguards. They were also unable to get lodgings and were obliged to walk to Bray. They thanked the Captain of the Union for his help with clothing. (2)


  1. Daily Express Wednesday 27th.September 1854.
  2. "Shipwrecks of the Irish Coast" Vol. 2. by Edward J.Bourke.

0 Comments · 5587 Reads · Print  -> Posted by Tony on April 30 2007


No Comments have been Posted.

Post Comment

Please Login to Post a Comment.