Loss of the THRACIAN, 1892

Liverpool Echo, Aug 15th 1892






Douglas telegraph:-

The heavy gale on Sunday night which at times increased to hurricane force, was the cause of one of the most painful disasters recorded for a long time.

The wind, from S.S.W rose early in the evening after a fresh breeze during the morning. With it the waves rose, by darkness there was a heavy sea running about the Manx coast.

Out in the Channel the weather was tempestuous, especially near the Gulf of Man, where with southerly or south-westerly winds the seas ran very high. It was near this spot the calamity occurred, the news obtained on the arrival to Douglas this morning of the screw steam tug SARAH JOLLIFFE, one of the fleet of tugs owned by Messers JOLLIFFE of Liverpool.

On Thursday last the SARAH JOLLIFFE left Liverpool for Glasgow on orders to tow into the Mersey the fine four-masted ship THRACIAN, just built, and lying in the port of Glasgow, in ballast.

The SARAH JOLLIFFE carrying a crew of 12 all told, Capt Owen JONES a native of Amlwch, North Wales, also took ten men from Liverpool to act as temporary crew. These men known as “runners,” arrived all well with the tug at Port Glasgow, and were joined by 5 other men shipped for the trip, the Captain and Captain’s wife making 17 persons on board.

The tug left the Clyde on Saturday evening with the ship in tow, the weather then was moderate with occasional squalls from the south-west. On Sunday evening, by which time the steamer and her charge were midway between Point-of-Ayre and Belfast Lough, the wind rose and by dusk was blowing a full gale with mountainous seas.

The THRACIAN was light in ballast [fatally as it turned out] as strong as the tug was she found it impossible to drag the ship against land and sea. By 10 o’clock all Captain JONES could do was stand by the ship, keeping her head to the sea and hoping for a change in the weather.

At 11-30 Captain JONES says, there was a lull in the storm and then a furious squall hurled itself upon the two vessels. The tug stood it bravely, but to the horror of all, the ship suddenly fell the wind and heeled over on her beam ends. Capt JONE’S crew immediately slipped the tow rope to save the tug and bore down to the sinking ship to be seen floating bottom up, a couple of minutes later the ship disappeared, not a trace of wreckage, nor any person could be seen in the water. Capt JONES cruised about the spot for hours but found nothing.

The vessel was under the command of Herbert H. BROWN of Glasgow

Liverpool Riggers

Andrew SOUTER, aged 39, 38 Olive St, leaves a wife and 6 children [known as Joe to the riggers]

James FITZGERALD, aged 41, 14 Raffles St, married with a family

Michael NAYLOR, aged 43, 6 House, 23 Court, Hornby St

Edward DALTON, aged 32, 42 Twiss St

Moses HARPER, aged 28, 14 Raffles St

Edward St CLARE, aged 50, 62 Pitt St

Michael BIRD, married with one child

Michael NEARY, married leaves a wife and 6 children, youngest child only a few weeks old.

Peter COYNE, married with a family

A10th man, name not known

The 1st 6 men are members of the National Independent Seamen and Firemen’s union

Names of Glasgow men not known at present.

THRACIAN built for Mr W. M. THOMSON of St John’s N.B, agent Messers T. SALEY and sons, Brunswick St. Vessel 2,000tons, built by Mr Robert DUNCAN of Port Glasgow

Copyright 2002 / To date