Wrecks List
Total Records: 1
Name Nationality Location Date Lost
Memphis   British  Dunlough Bay Mizen Head Co Cork  1896 

Memphis : 
Owner Elder, Dempster & Co, Liverpool 
Flag British  Builder Harland & Wolff Belfast 
Port Liverpool  Build Date 1890 
Official No 97827  Material  
    Tonnage nrt/grt 3190 
Ship type Steam Ship  Dimensions 345.5 | 40.7 | 27.4
Ships Role  Cargo  Rigging Style   
Super Structure
Wreck Location Caher Rock Dunlough Bay Mizen Head Co Cork 
Date Lost 17/11/1896  Captain Williams 
Cause Wrecked  Crew Lost 10 
Position 51.27 N / 09.49 W  Passengers Lost   
Google Map Location



A telegram received from Crookhaven last evening (says the Press Association) reports that the steamer Memphis Captain Williams from Montreal became a total wreck on Tuesday night in Dunlough Bay, Mizzen Head near where the steamers Bohemian, Iberian and Queensmore were wrecked some years ago

The Memphis left Montreal for Avonmouth Bristol on Friday the 6th inst and all went well until yesterday Tuesday when a thick fog set in with a south wind and a heavy sea this change of weather obliged the vessel to slacken speed and keep sounding her steam whistle and to proceed with all caution.

Those on board thought they were well off Mizzen Head when at half-past nine o'clock at night the ship struck the rocks in Dunlough Bay on the North side of the head and immediately Began to fill. The captain ordered the boats to be lowered at once but there was only time for three to be launched and one of these was stove in alongside directly it reached the water two of her occupants being drowned. The others managed to reach the rocks but five were washed off and drowned while the remaining two were saved by the people from shore.

The remainder of the crew including the captain and all the officers with the exception of the carpenter were saved. The following are the missing - E Jones carpenter ; J Bound able seaman ; Davis ordinary seaman ; J Montrose donkey man ; Wm Davis fireman ; Ferrer assistant steward ; F Wiltshire trimmer ; Frank Raid trimmer ; Wm Owen fireman and two cattle men whose surnames are unknown.

Some of the cattle and a quantity of merchandise which formed part of the cargo are being washed about in the surf owing to the heavy ground swell running. The tops of the masts were visible until noon to-day but these have now disappeared.

Great difficulty is experienced in ascertaining the names of the missing men as the survivors are scattered about in the farm houses in the locality where they have been most kindly treated by the inhabitants who have provided them with clothing and food Several were saved in an almost nude state having been unable to secure any of their kit when their vessel struck.

Captain Williams who was on the bridge at the time of the disaster displayed great coolness and did all that was possible to ensure the safety of those under his command and the survivors speak in the highest terms of his conduct.

The Central News states that when the steamer struck it was speedily ascertained that she was doomed and rockets were sent up as signals of distress. These were seen by the coastguard in the district but it was impossible to do anything in the way of rendering active assistance until daylight. Meanwhile heavy seas broke over the stranded steamer and during the night many of her cattle and part of the general cargo began to wash out of the ship.

By two o'clock the vessel bad began to break up and the crew of 33 men and about fourteen cattle men took to the rigging where they remained exposed to the bitter cold and continually drenched by the heavy seas which continued to break over the steamer. Several poor fellows succumbed and dropped into the sea and others were hurled from the rigging by the force of the sea. The survivors were found by the coastguard in this perilous position when the day broke and after some unavoidable delay the work of rescuing them was commenced.

Thirty-seven were got ashore and on the roll being called it was found that ten men had perished. The last report from the scene of the wreck states that enormous quantities of wreckage are washing ashore and salvage operations are being carried out by the Police and Coastguards.

Freeman's Journal and Daily Commercial Advertiser (Dublin, Ireland), Thursday, November 19, 1896
Record Created on  18/05/2009
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