Loss of the Germany,Talisman and Lizzie Raymond, 1873

Liverpool Albion January 1873

The wreck of the mail steamer Germany

The Germany left Liverpool on the 18th December, all went well until approaching Gironde on the 21st, all lights being visible and a pilot on board from Bordeaux, who had been sent to Liverpool to join the ship. The commander of the boat was Captain TROCHS and the chief officer Mr PICHER. It was on the 18th December when they were met by the gale that overwhelmed them. During the night the captain asked through the interpreter, if the pilot was quite sure of the safety of the vessel going in at night. The pilot replied, "What is the use of sending on a pilot from Bordeaux if he cannot take in the ship at night with all lights visible?" The captain then stated that if he wished to go slow the officers on the bridge would immediately slow the engines for him. The lead lines were at the same time pointed out to the pilot as laid for use. The starboard watch relieved the port watch, and went to supper at 6pm. They were shortly afterwards alarmed by the repeated ringing of the engine room bells, and the helm was ported and starboarded. The men of the port watch being afraid of a collision, ran on deck and about 5 o' clock the ship bumped heavily and swung round with her broadside to the south. The chief officer ordered all hands to the starboard boats, and then went to the wheelhouse for blue lights and rockets, where he was met by a lady passenger, who entreated him to give her a life belt. He was unable to find one except that which he wore for his own safety, and he gave it to her. No 3 lifeboat containing the ship's papers and a number of passengers was launched, but it was immediately swamped. All that was left with which to endeavour to save the lives of those on board were lifeboats 1 and 5. The last one was launched, but it was instantly smashed to pieces before the eyes of those who had succeeded in floating it. The ship now began to break up very rapidly, and the captain ordered the chief officer to cut away the mainmast with the intention of easing her, and the order was carried out with great risk. Not being able to get No 1 boat out, and fearing that the funnel would take away the mid part of the vessel, all who understood the danger of the position retreated to the fore-rigging. An hour was spent in awful suspense, and at the end of that time a tremendous sea carried away the mizen-mast, and with it a number of men. The shrieks of the drowning were mingled with the roaring of the billows and the shivering and creaking of the timbers of the sinking vessel, and the condition of the unfortunate men who still held their places in the rigging was most appalling.

With the loss of the mizen-mast it was evident the ship would soon go to pieces and the greatest alarm was manifested among those on board. The 2nd officer managed to get upon the bridge, and entreated the crew to make a further effort to get out No 1 boat, but this was too perilous to attempt at that time. The chief officer who was in the fore rigging, shouted, "She is dividing there, and it is not safe to stop, come up here." A all hands were on the rigging for nearly an hour and a half, expecting the ship would go to pieces any moment, but she still kept together and the chief officer, calling for volunteers led the way to the bridge. The passage was a dangerous one and when he reached No 1 boat he found three large holes in her. Disappointed beyond all expression, he called out to several seamen who were courageously attempting to follow him that the boat was staved in and they must stay where they were. The discovery of the damaged boat caused a feeling of despair, but with the help of a herdsman who produced a quantity of nails, the chief officer patched up the holes, and the boat was launched, while the sea was breaking some 30ft over every man ob board. The boat lay there for two hours, the crew exerting themselves most manfully to keep its head to the sea when standing by the ship expecting it to go to pieces every second. Under these circumstances when there was little hope of life even for men able to save themselves, the first officer Mr PICHER, appealed to the 2nd officer to take a lady named BAYLEY, who was a passenger, on to the boat. The 2nd officer in charge of the boat steered it alongside the ship, but seeing so many people leaving, and fearing the boat would get swamped he steered her out again. The chief officer then asked could they get away to the lightship to procure help, but he received no answer. A short time having elapsed the 2nd officer cut a rope and of his own accord made towards the lightship. On his way he intercepted a lugger, which, seeing the lifeboat, lay to. He then returned to the ship and took as many passengers as his boat would hold to the lugger. With great heroism the 2nd officer, with the boat half full of water, returned a second time to the vessel and rescued several more.

At this time the French steamer Mendoza, bound from Bordeaux to Lisbon, observing the wreck launched her lifeboats, and saved all that were on it. About 1am those who were still on board heard a loud cry, and thinking it came from a boat that was coming to their assistance, they answered from the rigging. In a short time, however, they ascertained that the voice proceeded not from a boat, but from the steerage of the ship. The captain then requested the chief officer to see if he could discover from where the cry came, and he took a rope from the fore rigging and descended to the combing, but was repeatedly washed away, and eventually succeeded in again reaching the same portion of the ship. On sounding down the hatch a voice answered him, "My wife and four children are being drowned." The officer answered there was a rope near him if he could reach it, but the reply came in the darkness, "It's all dark here any everything is washing out, I dare not leave the place where I am" To this the chief officer was obliged to reply that if he could not make his way out he could not possibly assist him.

The ship now was in two pieces, the sea breaking over to a height of fully thirty feet. The chief officer then went into the fore rigging with the rest of the crew. Miss BAILEY a saloon passenger, who had shown remarkable courage through the night, exclaimed, "Boys! we must leave this" and afterwards, " It is no longer safe here" The chief officer replied, "There is no place that is safe now." Miss BAILEY then appealed to him to carry her to the bridge. Compliance with the request was a matter of no small difficulty, and he was obliged to answer, "I have a family of my own, and cannot attempt to carry you, but if you take my hand I will do the best I can to save you." The words were scarcely uttered when a tremendous sea broke over the ship. Miss BAILEY was washed overboard and dashed against the side of the vessel with great violence, that she received injuries resulting in her instant death.


Liverpool Mercury Feb 13th 1873

Wreck of a Liverpool barque

Last night Captain HOLDEN and crew of the Liverpool barque Lizzie Raymond from Galveston, with a cargo of cotton for Liverpool, were landed at Queenstown by the barque Peter Joynston, Captain WATSON. On the 20th December and for four days the Lizzie Raymond experienced a severe hurricane from the south-west which threw her on her beam ends, and compelled the crew to cut away her foremast, which carried away the mainmast-head, maintopmast and all attached. Several tremendous seas broke aboard, carrying away the boats, stanchions, deckhouse, crew's chests, cooking utensils, cabin doors, rudder and flooded the cabin destroying almost all provisions. On Friday Jan 3rd, a barque passed them within a short distance, but took no notice of their signals of distress. At 1pm on the 12th a schooner passed close to. On the 13th another passed, Blue lights were burned, but no notice was taken of them. On the 29th December in lat 42 N, lon 25 W, the three-masted schooner Joseph Danels of Swansea and the Peter Joynson answered their signals, the latter took them aboard from the wreck, and treated them kindly. Before leaving the Lizzie Raymond owing to the great quantity of steam issuing from the cargo, Captain DEAN deemed it prudent to fire her, for the safety of passing vessels.

The loss of the steamer TALISMAN

The steamship Charles Howard put into Weymouth for coals on Thursday, having on board Captain WATSON and five men belonging to the steamship TALISMAN, which foundered on the 21st January, 50 miles N.W, of the Boaling, and 100 miles from Lisbon. She was owned by Messers Lamport and Holt, 21 Water St, Liverpool. Having encountered very heavy seas she sprang a leak, the fires were put out and two boats smashed. The captain and 14 of the crew escaped in the other two boats, and after two days were picked up by the schooner Eugene, of Barrow and landed at Lisbon. The following twelve of the crew were lost with the vessel, which went down immediately the others got away:-

Archibald FITZPATRICK, chief engineer, James MURRIN, engineer, James BECKETT, chief steward, Alfred Dent LUD, steward, Jose, a Portuguese boy, the chief cook, Ben PEARSON, 2nd cook, Robert WEBSTER, seaman, John MACDONALD, fireman, HEARNE, another fireman, name unknown, and Alexander MACKAY, carpenter. The six men brought by the Charles Howard, are Captain WATSON, John George CAVE, 1st officer, Thomas B. SHERLOCK, 2nd officer, William WOOLFALL, 2nd engineer, and CORNISH and M'IVEY firemen. The remainder will come on by the next vessel.


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