Shipwrecks on the south west coast of the Isle of Wight


Glenaray
Came to grief: March 1st 1876 at/near Blackgang
Captain John Darg
Cargo: Wool
Crew of 17
Lifeboats present:
None.
St Catherines Coastguard rocket aparatus

The Glenaray, a ship bound from Adelaide to London with a cargo of wool, went ashore at Blackgang, on the morning of March 1, and became a total wreck.

The chief officer of the coastguard station at St. Catherine Point received information of the wreck soon after midnight, and at once re paired to the scene of the disaster with his crew and a rocket apparatus. A dense fog prevailed. When he came in sight of the ship the sea was making a clean breach over her, and she was lying on her beam ends seaward, and all the crew were aft on the poop, crying for help. The heavy sea that was running on the beach prevented immediate relief. In getting the rocket apparatus on the beach they were up to their middle in water, but they succeeded in throwing the first rocket right over where the men were clinging to the side of the ship, and they grappled the rocket line, and hauled on board the whip and breeches buoy.
The first person that came on shore by means of the apparatus was the cook of the wrecked vessel, named Daniel M'Pherson, a man over sixty years of age. He died on the beach after he was landed, through exhaustion from holding on the side of the ship and exposure. Fifteen men out of the crew of seventeen men were safely landed by the rocket apparatus.

When the ship first struck, the crew got out one boat and one man got into her, but she was immediately capsized, and the man was washed ashore in the surf, and rescued by the chief officer of the station and a fisherman. The first mate jumped overboard, and was rescued by the crew and a fisherman who were on the beach. Everything belonging to the apparatus had to be carried over a quartet of a mile on the men's backs, because they could not get the rocket cart any nearer. At a quarter past 1 a.m. the first man was brought ashore, and at 3 a.m. the whole of the crew were safely landed. The ship was then breaking up fast, but a great part of her cargo has been washed ashore. All the crew have lost everything belonging to them.

The Marine Court investigated the matter, and decided that the loss of the barque Glenaray was caused by the default of John Darg, the master, and of the mate, John Berrie, and suspended the certificate of the master for six months and the certificate of the mate for three months.

Source: http://www.paperspast.natlib.govt.nz

Fatalities: 1