Gerrans, Cornwall, England
Blackwater, Wexford, Ireland
Wreck and Loss of Three Lives on the Wexford Coast
On Thursday an inquest was held at Morris Castle by the county of Wexford coroner, Dr. Cartan, on the bodies of the men who were drowned in the recent gale by the wreck of the Tigris, of Falmouth.
Amos Escott said “I have been mate of the schooner Tigris, bound from Falmouth to Runcorn with a cargo of China stone; on the 21st of March, we left Falmouth for Runcorn; Peter Nicholls, master; myself (Amos Escott), mate ; Wm. Saul and Joseph Roberts, able-bodied seamen ; when we left the weather was fine; in passing the Smalls Light there was a severe gale, which increasing, carried off some of the sails and spars ; inside the Tuscar Light, we let go our anchors which she soon parted from; it was then agreed to by the majority of the crew to run the vessel ashore; we struck land at about p.m., on Friday, the 23rd instant, at a place which 1 now understand to be Blackwater Head.
The gale was then as severe as ever, and the air thick; about 6.30 p.m. the coastguards, by means of a rocket, passed a line over to us; we did not succeed in getting off the ship, and were forced to remain on board all night; William Saul went overboard with the mast, which was carried away in the course of the night; shortly after daylight on Saturday, the 24th, the coastguards passed over another line with a rocket; by some misfortune the endless line parted;
It was now the master, Peter Nicholls, tried to swim ashore, but after a few strokes sank ; I then wanted Roberts to fasten the line around both our bodies, so that we might be hauled in; he refused, preferring to work hand-over-hand on the line made taut ashore; as soon as he got his weight on his hands he let at once;
I then tied the rope around my own body and was drawn ashore ; I think about three hours elapsed from the time it reached until the rocket apparatus arrived.”
Anthony King, a boatman, proved finding the body of Joseph Roberts in the surf, at Ballinamona, on Tuesday evening.
The other two bodies, that of Captain Nicholls and the seaman, Saul, were found by two boatmen named White and Connors. The jury returned the following verdict: “We say that the deceased Peter Nicholls, Joseph Roberts, and William Saul, all of the schooner Tigris, wrecked off Blackwater Head, county of Wexford, died by shipwreck March 24, 1866. From the evidence before us we find that had a lifeboat given timely assistance their lives might have been saved. We further find that when assistance did arrive, they were too weak to avail themselves of it. To save the loss of life on Blackwater Bank, we consider that the suitable station for a lifeboat apparatus Tinnaberna.”