Wrecks List
Total Records: 1
Name Nationality Location Date Lost
Moresby   British  Ballinacourty Point Dungarvan Bay  1895 

Moresby : 
Owner J.Dodd & Co 
Flag British  Builder Whitehaven Shipbuilding Company 
Port Liverpool  Build Date 1882 
Official No 86208  Material Iron 
    Tonnage nrt/grt 1259 
Ship type Sail Vessel  Dimensions 223.5 | 36.1 | 21.25
Ships Role  Cargo Ship  Rigging Style Full Rigged Ship  
Super Structure
Wreck Location  Ballinacourty Point Dungarvan Bay 
Date Lost 21/12/1895  Captain Capt. Caleb Francis Coomber 
Cause Capsized  Crew Lost 18 
Position 52.04 N / 07.33W  Passengers Lost 
Google Map Location

The Moresby sailed from Cardiff on the 21st December 1895, bound for Pisagua, Chile with a cargo of 1,778 tons of coal. She carried a crew of 23, and was under the command of Capt. Caleb Francis Coomber.The master's wife and young daughter were also aboard.

On the 23rd December the ship met rough weather and at about 1 pm, following the schooner Mary Sinclair, she sought some shelter in Dungarvan Bay. Both vessels were seen to be in distress by the Ballinacourty lighthouse keeper as they headed towards the beach. The Mary Sinclair was run aground at Clonea, but the Moresby changed course and was steered towards the lighthouse. At 2.30 pm, she succeeded in setting an anchor, about ¾ of a mile off the lighthouse.

At about 4 pm the Ballinacourty lifeboat was launched to give assistance to the distressed vessel. She reached the ship, but at that time the crew declined to be taken off. The Moresby carried two lifeboats, a cutter, and a gig, and had only recently completed a BoT survey, and was considered to be a well-found ship. During the night, however, the weather worsened and the Moresby sent out distress signals. About 4.30 am on the 24th December the vessel's anchor broke and the ship went over on her side. The captain and his wife and child, together with eleven of the crew, were forced to seek safety in the rigging of the mizzen mast. The remaining eleven crewmen were towards the bow. By 11a.m. the ship's masts were close to the water and she was clearly breaking up. The crew had waited in vain for the return of the lifeboat, and eventually had to take the desparate decision to try to swim for the shore.

Capt. Coomber jumped overboard with his daughter, and the mate accompanied the master's wife. Other crewmen followed them, but there was an ebb tide, and this swept them away from the coast. The Ballinacourty lifeboat was launched at about noon, but only five people were rescued. Twenty people, including Capt Coomber and his wife and daughter, were drowned.

From the Times newspaper, Friday, 7th February, 1896, page 10:

A full account of the wreck of the Moresby is given on the  Waterford County Museum

Record Created on  08/09/2008
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