Wrecks List
Total Records: 1
Name Nationality Location Date Lost
Racer   American  Arklow Bank Co Wicklow  1856 

Racer : 
Owner St. George Line 
Flag American  Builder Currier and Townsend, Massachusetts 
Port New York  Build Date 1851 
Official No   Material  
    Tonnage nrt/grt 1669 
Ship type Sail Vessel  Dimensions  |  | 
Ships Role  Cargo / Passenger  Rigging Style   
Super Structure
Wreck Location  Arklow Bank Co Wicklow 
Date Lost 06/05/1856  Captain Ainsworth 
Cause Ran a Ground  Crew Lost
Position   Passengers Lost 
Google Map Location

Dublin Yesterday , Casualty the Racer of New York (1,700 tons), Ainsworth, master, from Liverpool to New York, with passengers, struck on Arklow Bank, on night of the 6th instant, and still remains there with little hope of getting off. The Arklow smacks have brought on shore about 500 passengers.

The Belfast News-Letter (Belfast, Ireland), Friday, May 9, 1856


Six hundred of the passengers of the ill fated Racer Captain Ainsworth which was wrecked on Arklow Bank on the night of the 6th arrived in Dublin on Saturday evening by the Dublin and Wicklow line of railway. The passengers a large proportion of whom are Irish immediately proceeded to the office of Mr Kenny the agent of the owners who exerted himself to the utmost and succeeded after a delay of about two hours in finding lodgings for the entire number and he has of course made himself responsible for their expenses.

Many of them have lost everything they possessed and although happily life to any large extent was not sacrificed from all we can learn we believe that a close inquiry is necessary in reference to every circumstance connected with the vessel from the moment of her departure from Liverpool. The Racer was clipper-rigged 1700 tons burden and built we believe in an American port. She was chartered by Messrs Brown Grinnel and Co to take the passengers to New York and had when she weighed anchor on Tuesday last 700 souls on board.

At Holyhead the pilot left the ship and shortly afterwards the mate and captain it is stated went below after giving the wheelsman his point to steer by. The weather was somewhat heavy with a fresh wind and the passengers of whom the greater number were little accustomed to the sea turned into their berths at an early hour expecting and hoping a prosperous voyage and fearing nothing of greater consequence than sea sickness.

The full complement of hands for a vessel of the Racer’s build and tonnage would be about twenty-eight able-bodied men. In fact she was manned by twenty-seven men of whom the large majority we have heard twenty-four-were men of colour and three Chinese.

The passengers had not been long at rest when they were rudely disturbed by the running of the ship right on shore. The crew turned out, the passengers ran to and fro in wild confusion and the belief on every mind was that inevitable destruction awaited them. An effort was made to bring off the ship without success and the circumstances in which all on board were of the most alarming character.
It is stated by one of the parties now in Dublin that the captain on being appealed to as to the chance of safety in his hasty reply profanely expressed his belief that they would all be involved in a common and terrific fate. Such opinions at last got abroad among the passengers and the scene on board from that moment grew in its circumstances of horror until the arrival of the Arklow fishing boats caused every hope to revive and let us presume awakened a feeling of humble thankfulness to God in many a mind relieved of its late anxieties.

The fishermen of Arklow were prompt in their arrival when the news of the disaster reached them and active in their exertions to land the numerous persons who called upon them for assistance and when they had been landed the passengers received every attention on shore and as soon as possible a committee of gentleman in the neighbour-hood was formed, subscriptions raised and all that could be done to relieve and make comfortable parties who had just lost their all was effected by the kind exertions of those who undertook the duty.

Shortly after the striking of the vessel one of the black seamen fell overboard and was lost and a female passenger was also carried into the sea but she was happily recovered.

Numbers of the passengers state and their assertion is borne out by a report from the constabulary at Arklow that immediately on the coming of the fishing smacks alongside and whilst the passengers were swarming together in their anxiety to be brought again to terra firma numbers of the seamen commenced and carried out without a check a system of wholesale plunder from the boxes and trunks of the emigrants. Here they had placed their little hoards of money which were rifled without mercy if the statement be reliable and in one case as much as £200 was lost by a poor woman and others lost various sums of from £10 to £50 in this way.

When news of the disaster hit town two tug-boats were despatched by Mr. Kenny with directions to bring off all that could be saved and they also arrived on Saturday laden with remnants of the wreck. As amongst these the boxes of many of the passengers have been brought up the truth of the statement as to pillage can at least to some extent be easily tested. Several of the crew were brought up by tug-boat and are now in town.

It is said by some of the passengers that certain requisites with which the Government emigration agents very properly demand that each vessel shall be provided and which are essential for the preservation of decency and health amongst the passengers although they were prepared for the inspection when the officer came on board at Liverpool were immediately knocked away when the ship put to sea.

Mr. Kenny has chartered two steam-vessels to bring the passengers to Liverpool preparatory we presume to shipping them on board a second vessel to have let us hope a more prosperous though a longer voyage.

The Morning Chronicle (London, England), Wednesday, May 14, 1856
Record Created on  25/02/2009
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