Wrecks List
Total Records: 1
Name Nationality Location Date Lost
La Surveillante   French  Bantry Bay Co Cork  1796 

La Surveillante : 
Owner French Navy 
Flag French  Builder Built at Lorient 
Port   Build Date 1718 
Official No   Material  
    Tonnage nrt/grt  
Ship type Frigate  Dimensions 143 | 37 | 22
Ships Role  War Ship  Rigging Style Frigate  3 Masted
Super Structure
Wreck Location  Bantry Bay Co Cork 
Date Lost 02/01/1796  Captain  
Cause Scuttled  Crew Lost  
Position 51.70 N / 09.55 W  Passengers Lost   
Google Map Location

On 16 January 1796, the French Armada of 48 ships including 13,000 troops, left Brest for Ireland with the aim of landing at Bantry in the southwest of the country. Bantry was chosen as the landing place as it offered sheltered anchorage for the fleet and because it was proximal to Cork, a major commercial center and important naval port on the south coast.

The capture of Cork would ensure that a major port close to France could serve as a communications and supply center with the France, and would serve a major blow to the occupying British forces.
Subsequent to capturing Cork, combined French and Irish forces would then march on Dublin, the English administrative and military center, and establish an Irish revolutionary convention there to control the country.

From the outset of the campaign, the Armada was beset by ill fortune. Bad weather and poor leadership resulted in only 33 of the original vessels reaching a rendezvous point off Mizen Head on 19th December. Over the next two weeks, stormy weather, confusion over orders and the loss of a number of vessels prompted the depleted Armada to return to France.

On 2nd January, prior to departure, the French forces sank La Surveillante in the Bay, as she was storm damaged and not seaworthy to make the return journey to France. Her compliment of 600 cavalry under General Mermet was transferred to other ships and a number of her guns were salvaged before the crew scuttled her.

Record Created on  27/11/2008
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