LIVERPOOL JOURNAL 1st January 1881
TOTAL WRECK OF A LIVERPOOL BOUND VESSEL
EXTRAORDINARY EXPERIENCE OF THE CREW
James TYRRELL, former cook of the large ship EDWARD CARDWELL, has been landed at Liverpool by the Cunard Steamer BATAVIA from New York and has given particulars of the loss of his vessel and the extraordinary adventure , the crew went through in the 28 days from when the vessel was lost till they reached Quebec
The EDWARD CARDWELL of 1245 tons, left Quebec with a large cargo of timber bound for Liverpool, not many days into the voyage she went ashore on the Labrador coast, striking a reef at 5am on 31st October last, immediately afterwards broke her back. The sea was rough, and the bumping of the vessel on the reef, forced the logs of timber through her sides.
One boat was successfully launched and 7 crew left the vessel, they got a short distance when there was a crash and the heavy main mast came down smashing everything in its way, including two boats and the deck house.
Although there were several narrow escapes none of the crew were injured and within half an hour the life boat was launched, Capt CAMPBELL the last to leave the vessel.
The crew left in what they stood up in, the Capt lost all his papers and a valuable gold watch. The second boat stayed within the vicinity of the wreck till she disappeared, after pulling for some 4hrs the second boat reached a high rock, on ascending it, the men found their comrades from the first boat. They had lost their craft but none had drowned.
The whole crew stayed on the rock all that day and the following night, they had no food and a bag of biscuits lost by the smashing of the first boat was recovered and dried out. The men reached a fishing village and entered a fisherman’s hut, finding a stove and dried fish.
The men were subsequently taken to Green Isle by a Lloyds agent who had sent two boats to assist. They were then received on a Steamer the BEAVER to be conveyed to Quebec.
The BEAVER could not proceed far on account of the ice, with 64 on board she was steered up a long creek and taken far into the bush. There was little or no provisions on board and for five days, rations were one biscuit a day. The weather was extremely cold and the men suffered greatly from exposure and cold.
They found themselves on one side of a river with no food, on the other side was hospitably desposed persons. A distance of 7 miles intervened, the river full of floating ice, getting thicker and thicker. It was an attempt full of danger for the men to reach the other side in such a frail boat. To stay posed more danger.
It was decided to cross the river and the attempt was successful. The men were then conveyed by train to Quebec, from there to different places. TYRRELL reached New York Where he was received on the BATAVIA.
The EDWARD CARDWELL was built in Mirimichi in 1864 and was owned in Greenock by John HENDRY.
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