FOUNDERING OF AN AMERICAN MAIL STEAMER.
FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT
During a dense fog yesterday evening the Idaho one of the Guion line of steamers struck on the Corrigmore Rocks off the Saltee Islands and immediately went down. Fortunately no lives have been lost.
The Idaho left New York on the 21st May having on board 151 passengers, 51 horses about 1,000 tons of beef and some cotton. She called at Queenstown on Saturday at noon and landed the mails and some passengers.
During the evening a fog sprang up and about ten minutes past seven she struck the rock and commenced to take in water. The captain immediately ordered out the boats and the first one to enter was a lady and her little child who had no gentleman with her. The first officer stood by and then the ladies fifteen in number were first put into the boats. The boat containing the ladies was the first to leave the ship and the last man was Capt Holmes. His boat was only about thirty yards from the vessel when she disappeared. She went down twenty-two minutes after she struck. The passengers speak very highly of Captain Holmes he was on the bridge with the first officer and pilot when she struck.
Had it not been for his coolness and presence of mind some lives would have been lost. After rowing for about four hours the boats six in number made the Saltee Island. There being only one house on the island very little accommodation could be provided for the passengers. Mr Parks caretaker who resides there immediately gave up his house to the ladies.
They were all landed on the mainland this morning and conveyed to Wexford where they were taken care of by Mr.J. W.Walsh Lloyd's agent. So sudden was the occurrence that not one particle has been saved and the vessel has completely disappeared having gone down in nineteen fathoms of water. The passengers are to be conveyed by train to Liverpool this evening. Among the passengers are Mr.John Watson, Wallack's Theatre New York and his wife and child. This morning about half-past two o'clock a special train from Wexford brought to town 127 of the crew and passengers of the Idaho.
From the statements of several of the passengers the leading facts as given above are corroborated. In addition we learn that the good ship Idaho sank completely in less than fifteen minutes allowing none on board any time to bring with them any of their personal effects and many of them had to make their escape in a half dressed condition. The most perfect discipline was preserved the crew behaving with marked coolness and in many instances with positive bravery. Had this not been so several of the passengers with whom we spoke state that no doubt but many lives would have been lost. In testimony of this an address has been prepared for presentation to the captain Mr:Holmes.
The entire Saturday night was passed on the Saltees many of the lady passengers having obtained shelter in a fisherman's cottage and early yesterday morning they started in boats for Wexford where they landed after four hours.
Nothing was prepared for the passengers when they came to Dublin. They were left derelict at the terminus and the ladies took possession of the waiting room where they passed a second sleepless night. Some of them who were about retiring are but partially clothed. They seem dreadfully fatigued.
Several first-class carriages were left to them for sleeping couches The sailors and the male passengers remained walking up and down the railway terminus the whole morning. Some of them state they have not slept for two nights. In all they present a rather pitiable appearance. There are several children among the passengers. They leave this morning at half-past nine o'clock for Liverpool
Freeman's Journal and Daily Commercial Advertiser, Monday, June 3, 1878