THE LATE WRECK ON ARKLOW BANK.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE FREEMAN.
Wexford, January 10th,1873
I am sorry to say, beyond doubt, that the vessel reported in your paper as having foundered on the north end of the Arklow Bank, on Monday morning, was the Charles Of this port. The vessel was bound here from Dundalk with a cargo of barley and had been lying at Kingstown wind bound for some days.
She left there on Sunday in company with four other Wexford Schooners, all of which had to bear up again for that roadstead on same night. Whilst running back the Charles would appear to have struck the Arklow Bank and became unmanageable and disabled.
Her crew consisted of six hands all told. The captain Mr James Devereux who held a master's certificate of competency together with his mate and crew were all young men the latter being picked from amongst some hundred seamen in the employ of Messrs Devereux. I mention this to show that had these poor young fellows got any assistance whatever from the steamer Countess of Dublin they would in all probability have succeeded in saving their lives.
From the conflicting accounts received in Wexford of the exertions made by the master of this steamer to rescue Captain Devereaux and his crew a very painful impression preveils on the public mind that something more might have been attempted under the circumstances. An authoritative explanation from Mr.Dunne or his employers is necessary to allay if possible this painful feeling. Is it a fact that a passenger steamer like the Countess was trusting to one boat or with several seamen as passengers that a second could not be manned whilst six brave fellows were left to meet their fate in a schooner's jollyboat ? It is said that the Countess remained three hours standing by the foundering vessel which had her ensign flying Union down as a signal of distress Why leave her even then? Had a hawser been passed from the steamer it would have enabled young and active sailors like those of the Charles to get on board which without any risk to the steamer or her people might it is presumed have been done.
Captain Deverenx's loss is deeply regretted by all classes here He was the eldest son of Capt.Mark Devereux harbour master of this port who for upwards of thirty years filled the responsible position of master pilot at the Fort of Rosslare Whilst residing there both father and son were foremost on every occasion to render assistance to ships in distress gallantly risking their own lives to save those of their fellow creatures Capt. J.Devereux although closely connected with the head of one of the first mercantile houses in Ireland was a young man of unassuming manners and from his gentle disposition and well known bravery had endeared him self to all who had the pleasure of his acquaintance.
His mate Mr.Roesiter and the rest of the crew are also much regretted most of them being the chief support of widowed mothers and orphan sisters. Your obedient servant,
Freeman's Journal, Monday, January 13,1873