Wrecks List
Total Records: 1
Name Nationality Location Date Lost
Mobile   American  Arklow Banks Co Wicklow  1852 

Mobile : 
Owner G.F & J. Patten 
Flag American  Builder John Larrabee, Bath Maine 
Port Bath Maine  Build Date 1851 
Official No   Material Wood 
    Tonnage nrt/grt 960 
Ship type Sail Vessel  Dimensions 172.8 | 34.8 | 17.4
Ships Role  Cargo / Passenger  Rigging Style Full Rigged Ship  
Super Structure
Wreck Location  Arklow Banks Co Wicklow 
Date Lost 29/09/1852  Captain Cp Jos. H.Tarbox 
Cause Ran Aground  Crew Lost 13 
Position   Passengers Lost  59 
Google Map Location


Yesterday afternoon on the arrival of the Wexford steamer considerable sensation was created by a report that an American ship which sailed from this on Tuesday last had foundered at sea and that a great loss of life had taken place. On making inquiries we learned that the tale was but too true and that no less than seventy-five human beings had found an untimely and watery grave.

The unfortunate ship alluded to was the Mobile Cap Tarbox. She left the Mersey on Tuesday bound to New Orleans having on board sixty passengers and a crew of twenty-four including the captain. She proceeded safely until Wednesday morning at two o'clock at which time she struck on Blackwater Bank and shortly afterwards commenced to break up. At the time she struck the wind was blowing a perfect hurricane from the E.N.E with a very heavy sea running the only sails that she carried at the time being the fore and main top-sails close-reefed.

Shortly after she struck efforts were made to launch the boats but in consequence of the heavy sea running at the time they were fruitless. The scene on board the ill-fated ship after striking baffles description the poor passengers running about in all directions crying out piteously for help but alas! there was none at hand and at every succeeding sea one or more of their number was washed off the wreck until in a very short time all had disappeared with the exception of eight seamen and one passenger who had fortunately lashed themselves in the channel bends.

A few hours after the vessel had struck the weather moderated considerably and about eleven o'clock on Thursday morning two schooners hove in sight and immediately bore down to the wreck. One of the schooners which was bound to Glasgow took four of the sailors and passenger on board and the other took the remaining four off and landed them at Wexford. When rescued they were in a very exhausted state from cold and exposure. They were forwarded to this port in the Wexford steamer and arrived last evening (Sunday) destitute of every thing but what they stood in.

As an instance of the little chance that it was thought any one had of being saved an incident which occurred is worth being recorded. In the cabin was a lady passenger who had upwards of 500L in gold in her possession and thinking that she had no chance of being saved she brought the money on deck and offered it as a present to one of the sailors in case she was drowned and he rejected it remarking at the time that he "thought he would have enough to do to save himself." In a few seconds after having made the offer a sea swept over the vessel and carried the unfortunate lady overboard and she sank to rise no more. The sailor was however among those that were saved.

Captain Tarbox the commander of the ill-fated ship, together with all his officers perished. He was well known and much respected in this town. There is no doubt that the ship went to pieces on Friday as great quantities of wreck cargo, &c.&c., were passed on Friday and Saturday.
The Mobile was a fine ship of upwards of 1,000 tons burthen and nearly new.

Freeman's Journal and Daily Commercial Advertiser, Tuesday, October 5 1852

Dundalk, Oct. 1. - The schooner " Mary Elizabeth," Richards of Nevin North Wales about 11 a.m. on the 30th September, Tara Hill off Arklow bearing N.W. distant 20 miles, saw part of a wreck with a number of people on it bore down on her got out the boat and proceeded to the wreck which turned out to be the ship " Mobile," Tarbox, of Bath U. S. from Liverpool for New Orleans with passengers.

After a great deal of risk and exertion on the part of Captain Richards and his crew they succeeded in saving the last four of the crew on board of the wreck who report that five others were saved previously by a schooner bound to Glasgow and also report that the 30 passengers with one exception were lost as also the captain mate steward and 12 of the crew.

Captain Richards treated the four men with the greatest kindness one of them being nearly exhausted and has landed them safely at this port. Two of the crew saved by Captain Richards are Swedes. The Swedish vice-consul at this port is bound to provide for them according to his instructions.

The ship struck on Arklow Banks at 3 a.m. on Wednesday having sailed from Liverpool on Tuesday, at 12 noon. Fifty-nine passengers the captain, officers and 10 seamen are reported to have been drowned in the wreck of the American ship "Mobile" Tarbox lost on the Arklow Bank as reported yesterday.

It is stated that the Mobile having a fair wind pursued her course at a rapid rate and at midnight the captain went below leaving the second mate in charge with strict injunctions to steer W.S.W and to see that he the captain was called at two o'clock or sooner if the weather assumed a more threatening aspect.

The wind at the time the captain went below was blowing a fresh breeze from E.N.E with a heavy sea which increased to a violent gale, he was however not called until two o'clock. On coming on deck the captain inquired whether the ship had been steered as he ordered and then found that the second mate had misunderstood the orders given to him and had ordered her to be kept on a W.N.W. course which had carried her directly on a lee shore from which it was found impossible to extricate her although every human effort was made.

Admiralty Register of Wrecks 1852
  • Time        : 03:00am
  • Voyage   : Liverpool to New Orleans
  • Cargo     : Passengers
  • Wind       : E.N.E Force 12
Record Created on  17/10/2009
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