Wrecks List
Total Records: 1
Name Nationality Location Date Lost
Cambria   British  Inishtrahull Co Donegal  1870 

Cambria : 
Owner Thomas and John Henderson Glasgow  
Flag British  Builder Robert Duncan & Co Port Glasgow 
Port Glasgow  Build Date 1869 
Official No 60421  Material Iron 
    Tonnage nrt/grt 1997 
Ship type Steam Ship  Dimensions 324.6 | 85.2 | 22.5
Ships Role  Cargo / Passenger  Rigging Style   
Super Structure
Wreck Location Tor Beg Inishtrahull Co Donegal 
Date Lost 19/10/1870  Captain Carnahan 
Cause Wrecked  Crew Lost 74 
Position 55.27 N / 07.14 W  Passengers Lost  105 
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Loss of 180 Lives

We regret to have to announce the total wreck of the steamer Cambria of the Anchor line off the coast of Derry. She had about 180 persons on board and it is feared all but one have perished. One man named Gartlan from Omagh has arrived at Derry having been picked up after drifting on a capsized boat for several hours.

The following notice was posted at Lloyd's Derry October 20 - 9p.m. The Enterprise steamer from Garston for this port picked up off Innishowan head at three p.m. to-day a boat containing a sailor and the corpse of a girl. The sailor states that he belonged to the Cambria steamer of the Anchor line which left NewYork on the 8th October that the Cambria struck on Inishstrahull island at 10 o'clock last night and that four boats besides the one he was in left the vessel. His boat he says capsized and all those in it excepting himself were drowned.

A correspondent at Derry sends the following account The Cambria belonging to Anchor line of steamers and commanded by Captain Carnahan was wrecked off the coast of Donegal on Wednesday night.

All the souls on board have it is feared perished with the exception of one man a steerage passenger named John M'Gartland His account of the occurrence was at first discredited when he reached Derry very late on Thursday night. The truth of his statement it is since known is unfortunately too true.

It is substantially as follows About 11 on Wednesday night the Cambria which was under canvas and steam and proceeding at a rapid pace struck on the Inistrahull rock about seven miles S.S.E of the Heads at the entrance to Lough Foyle and as the vessel immediately commenced to fill with water it became at once evident that a large hole bad been made in the ship. The engine fires were at once put out the crew and passengers rushed on deck and orders were given to launch the small boats.

Four boats were accordingly let down into one of which M'Gartland got along with about 15 other passengers. The boats quickly drifted from the wreck and M`Gartlaud cannot say what became of those which parted from him. The boat in which he secured a seat was almost immediately capsized and after regaining consciousness he found himself grasping the gunwale of the boat which by this time had righted. He succeeded in getting into the boat and he then discovered the body of a lady dressed in black silk under the seat. He tried whether any consciousness still remained with his fellow passenger but he soon saw that life had fled. The lady had no doubt been drowned during the time the boat was upset.

M'Gartland spent the night from between 10 and 11 o'clock in the open boat tossed about by Waves which every moment threatened to engulf him until half past two o'clock on Thursday morning when he was fortunately picked up by the Enterprise. Captain Gillespie put about his vessel and sailed round the scene of the disaster for some time and Mr. Bradley his mate at great personal risk succeeded in rescuing the survivor from the boat.

The Cambria had left New York on the 9th inst and had made a good passage to the entrance of the Foyle. As nearly as can be known there were 180 souls on board among whom were several passengers belonging to the City of Derry.
Inishtrahull where the wreck took place is a most dangerous rock off the coast and is carefully guarded by a lighthouse.

The Cambria was an iron screw steamship of 1312 tons register and 1997 tons builders' measurement. She was built at Port Glasgow by Messrs Robert Duncan and Co under special survey and classed at the highest rate at Lloyd's having been constructed with heavier plating than is required by the rules. She left the Clyde for New York on Saturday 17th September last her crew numbering 74 all told. She was in command of Captain George Carnahan and left New York on the homeward voyage on Saturday the 8th inst. with a general cargo consisting of cheese grain and other produce. The passengers on board it is believed numbered about 100. To this number of course the crew must be added making in all nearly 180 persons.

Lloyd's Weekly Newspaper (London England) Sunday October 23 1870
Record Created on  22/05/2009
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