shipwrecks of Cork Harbour

Shipwreck list of the later 19th Century

Shipwrecks of Cork Harbour from 1851 to 1900

Date Name Event
July 31, 1850 Fame On Wednesday 31st of July 1850, the Fame , on a voyage from Cork to London, went ashore in Ballycotton Bay. Her cargo had to be discharge on the spot, but it was thought that if the weather continued fine, then the ship could be gotten off.
November 16, 1850 Henry and Ann On the 16th of November, 1850, the Henry and Ann of Newcastle, attempted to leave Cork Harbour during a heavy gale. The weather overwhelmed her, and her master decided to put back to Cork . The Henry and Ann grounded on Carlisle point, without loss of life. She became a total wreck, but the cargo of maize was largely saved, along with the spars and rigging.
November 29, 1850 Hope On November 29th, 1850, the Hope , master Bailey, from Bristol, for Cork, struck Camden Point while trying to enter Cork Harbour. She quickly went to pieces, but there were no reports of casualties.
January 1851 Heroine The ship Heroine , from Liverpool for Africa, sailed from Waterford on the 6th of January, 1851. Nothing more was heard about this vessel until the 19th of January, when a ship’s boat, papers, clothes, pieces of cabin furniture, and a head-board with Heroine in gilt letters, were picked up at Ballycroneen, east of Cork Harbour. Gradually more wreckage washed up along the Cork Coast. It was assumed that the Heroine had foundered, and all aboard were lost, in the vicinity of Cork Harbour.
January 11, 1851 Voran The Voran , on route from Odessa to Cork, with a cargo of grain, ran ashore in Ringabella Bay on Sat Jan 12 1851. The crew were saved and it was initially thought that she would be towed free. Efforts using three tugs proved unsuccessful however, and the cargo of grain was unloaded. A gale sprang up on Jan 17th and she became a total loss.
March 27, 1851 Favourite On the 27th of March 1851, the watchman of Trabolgan Estate heard cries from seaward. He discovered the emigrant ship Favourite , of St John's, hard aground, with 250 terrified passengers on board. The Admiralty and shipping agents were contacted, and a fleet of small boats ferried all the passengers ashore safely. The ship was unloaded and stripped in an effort to refloat her, but to no avail, and she became a total wreck.
November 10, 1851 Corbierre On November 10th 1851, the Corbierre , master Gallichan, in coming into Cork Habour , went ashore at Corkbeg. She was later gotten off with the aid of a steamer.
November 15, 1852 Start On November 16th 1852 the brigantine Start , master Smith, from Ibrail to Newcastle ran on to Flat Head, west of Roberts Cove. Her entire crew were saved, but the ship quickly sank in 20 feet of water and the Start was soon totally wrecked.
October 27,1852 Hannah The Hannah , master Bruce was on route from Ibrail to Newry via Cork for orders. As she left Cork on October 27th 1852 ,she struck on Coles Point, south of Fort Camden and was stuck fast. By Friday the 5th of November however, salvors had managed to remove the Hannah and beached her on the Curlane Bank for repairs, though a large portion of her cargo had been lost.
June 28 1853 Herald On Thursday July 28th 1853, The Herald, bound from Callao in Peru, to London, was reported aground near Crosshaven.
November 24, 1854 Munster lass On November 24th 1854 The smack Munster Lass , of Poole, Left Cork bound for Youghal, laden with Indian Cornl,. , she struck a rock, and went ashore in White Bay. She was reported as covered with water.
January 20, 1855 Swan On Jan 18th 1855, the Swan , bound from Troon in Scotland to Cork was reported as being on shore in Crosshaven 'Roads'
March 02, 1858 Atlas The brigantine Atlas , from Picton Nova Scotia, was on route from Newfoundland to Cork in March 1858. She anchored in an easterly gale near Roches Point lighthouse. On Thursday the 4th of March, the Atlas dragged her anchors and went ashore between Ringabella and Cork Head on the western side of the harbour. She quickly became a total wreck and two crew members were drowned. The remaining crew were landed at Queenstown by the local coastguard.
July 17, 1858 Unnamed Hooker On the 17th of July 1858 an unnamed hooker carrying bricks was observed dismasted by a squall off Poor Head. Three men were rescued from the disabled vessel which sank soon afterwards
February 16, 1860 Echo On Thursday the 16th of February 1860 the brig Echo , of Altona was run down and sunk off Youghal. The ship which struck her was thought to be an American and proceeded without offering assistance. The captain, second mate and one passenger were lost. The rest of the crew were picked up by a local hooker and landed at Youghal.
December 04, 1860 Alliance There was a strong south–easterly gale in Cork Harbour on the night of Monday December 4th 1860. The American ship Alliance drove ashore on Spike Island at 8pm, and remained there until taken off by three tugs the next morning, at high tide.
March 17, 1861 Unnamed Hooker On Sunday 17th of March,1861, a violent storm struck the coast of Cork. A hooker, from Youghal, with a load of bricks, was lost at Inch Bay, near Poor Head The three local men on board were lost.
January 27, 1862 Asia The Asia, from Liverpool, for Halifax and Boston, went aground on the Curlane bank outside Crosshaven, on Monday January 27th 1862. She remained overnight until towed off the next morning.
October 19, 1862 Industry On Sunday 19th of October 1862, the brigantine Industry of Padstow, for Cork, with salt, was lost in Ballycroneen Bay. The captain, three men, and one boy were saved. The vessel soon went to pieces
January 19 1863 Calcutta On Monday the 19th of January 1863, the Italian barquentine, Calcutta, with corn, from Sullina, in endeavouring to make for the harbour, went ashore to the west of it, and soon became a total wreck, the crew having to abandon her the same day.
January 20, 1863 Anne On Tuesday, January 20th 1863, the brigantine Anne, of Gibraltar, with a cargo of Indian corn from Saffi, struck on Canovans Point, to the south side of Camden Fort. The tugs William Wallace and Robert Bruce were despatched to her assistance. The Anne was successfully towed off on Sunday undamaged.
March 29, 1864 SD Ryerson On the 28th of March, 1864, The SD Ryerson, for Antwerp, in getting underway, grounded at Crosshaven shoals but got off again without damage
March 30 1864 City of New York On the 19th of March 1864 the Inman liner City of New York left New York USA for her regular voyage to Liverpool via Queenstown. Approaching Cork, the captain chose to take the inner passage between the Daunt Rock and the nearest headland, and was proceeding at an estimated 14 knots when the ship grounded firmly on the Daunt Rock.
All on board were rescued, but the ship was stuck fast. There were numerous attempts a salvage, but by April 7th she slipped beneath the waves.
January 13, 1865 Premier On Friday, 13th of January 1865 the British barque Premier went ashore in a strong westerly wind in White Bay. All on board survived, but the pounding of the waves soon breached the hull destroying the cargo of sodium nitrate. She was eventually sold to a local consortium who recovered the hull.
April 02, 1866 Fishing Boat On Monday, April 2nd 1866, an unnamed Isle of Man fishing vessel was on passage from Cork to Kinsale. As she passed the Daunt Rock, she struck on one of the masts of the wrecked City of New York. As she began to fill, the master ran her towards shore. The boat made it as far as Rocky Bay where she sank. The crew of nine were saved.
July 10, 1867 Nancy On the night of Tuesday the 9th of July 1867 the Oysterhaven fishing smack Nancy was anchored off the Sovereign Islands. She was run down by the trans-Atlantic liner Nebraska, which immediately sank her. Four crew were drowned. Three were recovered from the water, but one later died
January 01, 1868 Chicago The Guion Line steamship Chicago was on a voyage from New York to Liverpool, via Queenstown. The journey was uneventful, however, on nearing Cork Harbour, a fog developed, and the Chicago missed the rendezvous with the pilot boat.. Roches Point was passed in error, and the Chicago grounded on a reef at Guileen. The weather was calm and all passengers and crew were saved. The ship gradually broke up and the remains were sold where they lay.
January 03 1868 HMS Research The Steam powered ironclad, HMS Research, was on patrol duties along the south coast of Ireland in January 1868. Outside Cork Harbour they signalled an American ship, the Alaska to stop. This vessel, ignored the instruction,. HMS Research gave chase and on passing the Daunt Rock came too close to the rock and became impaled on the wreck of the City of New York. Luckly the troop ship HMT Himalaya was in port and towed HMS Research off.
January 16, 1868 Vanda By the 16th of January 1868, the wreck of the Chicago was being targeted by looters. A marine presence at the spot had guard fires buring at night. The British barque Vanda, on route from Iquique with saltpetre mistook these for the Cork harbour lights. At six o'clock in the morning she ran ashore in Tuck Bay a mile east of the Chicago wrecksite and became a total loss. The captain and crew were safely landed by the coastguard with the aid of rocket apparatus
April 16, 1869 Whaleboat On Friday April 16th 1869, three out of a crew of five men were drowned in Cork Harbour, by the upsetting/capsizing of a whale boat. The two saved were rescued by the Spike Island convict boat
December 03, 1869 Celandine On Friday the 3rd of December the brigantine Celandine, on a voyage to Wales, sprang a leak. The captain decided to return to Cork, but at the harbour entrance the Celandine grounded on a lee - shore filling immediately. All the crew were saved, but the vessel quickly became a total wreck.
December 14, 1870 Drydens On Wednesday the 14th of December 1870, the barque Drydens was entering Cork harbour. She had just entered the harbour when she was struck by the steamer Fire Queen on the starboard bow. The Drydens was cut through and sank in seven fathoms of water, luckily without loss of life. The Fire Queen had to be grounded on the Spit Bank for repairs as she had sustained a lot of damage and flooding to her fore-compartment.
January 31, 1871 Steam Barge On Tuesday January 31st 1871 a violent SSE gale struck Cork Harbour. Many vessels were driven from their moorings, the Harbour Commissioners steam barge was driven ashore. Two brigantines, the Adelite and the Hope also fouled each other.
November 18, 1871 Swordfish On the 18th of November 1871 the iron steamship Swordfish was beig towed out the harbour when the hawser snapped. Another hawser again snapped and the Swordfish grounded at Poula Colleen Point. It was the 11th of December by the time tugs were able to remove the damaged ship to Passage West for repairs.
January 1872 Flora On Thursday January 11th, 1872, it was reported that the Flora, master Ballon, from Alexandria to Queenstown was ashore at Ballycroneen Bay, east of Poor Head.
June 19, 1872 Whaleboat On Wednesday the 19th of June 1872, a whale boat, containing seven local men set off from Queenstown in order to solicit business from visiting shipping.On Friday morning the coastguards at Roberts Cove recovered the upturned boat, with no sign of the occupants. It was thought that large seas had swamped the boat, resulting in the loss of all seven. It was reported that all were married and left large families.
February 01, 1873 Coronation
Rambler
On Saturday February 1st, 1873, severe easterly gale swept the south and east coasts of Ireland. There were a number of shipwrecks on the eastern seaboard, as well as the loss of the brigantine Rambler off the Old Head of Kinsale.
On the 4th of February it was reported that the topmast of a sailing vessel was showing above water,about a mile offshore, between Poor Head (Power Head) and Guileen. (Guileen is a small fishing hamlet, located about two miles eastwards of Roches Point).
It was surmised that the smack had been running before the weather making for land when she was ovewhelmed by the seas and foundered. One body was found , washed ashore at Guileen, This unfortunate ship was called the Coronation. She was a cutter--rigged smack, out of Padstow, Cornwall, carrying a cargo of barley.
February 1873 Joseph Cope On Friday February 7th, 1873, the masts of a vessel were reported between Nohoval and Barry's Head. This was the Joseph Cope of Liverpool. She was lost with all hands, and over the next few days four bodies and a ship's boat were washed ashore along the coast.
January 07, 1874 Seventeenth of Mai On the morning of January 07th 1874,during a heavy southerly gale the Norwegian ship Seventeenth of Mai went ashore seven miles off the mouth of Cork Harbour. She broke up completely in a few hours. She had been derelict for days, but a salvage crew from the steamer Magnet was on board. One man named Roe was drowned.
April 08, 1876 Ann Wingate Whitehaven schooner, the Ann Wingate, left Cork harbour on Saturday the 8th of April 1876, bound for the Bristol channel. She did not get far however, and ran ashore in Guileen Bay during a dense fog, and became a total wreck. The crew was saved.
January 08, 1877 Whaleboat One of the famous Cork Harbour 'bumboats' or trading vessels set out from Ringabella on Monday January 16th 1877. They were making for the barque G.J.Jones and followed standard practice of two getting aboard the moving vessel while the whale boat was towed behind.
The speed of the barque on this occasion was too great and the occupants of the whale boat had to let go. The boat was later found bottom up, a mile from Roches Point.All the five remaining occupants had been drowned.
December 24, 1878 Princess Royal On Christmas Eve 1878 the barquentine Princess Royal grounded below Camden Fort in a gale. The Roches Point coastguard boat and pilot boat tried to give assistance, but were unable to save any of the crew of the Princess Royal. The Queenstown Lifeboat was out all night but failed to reach the wrecksite
January 20, 1879 Oberon The steamer Oberon left New Orleans on December 21st 1878 bound for Liverpool. She had an uneventful voyage until she lost her propellor near the Old Head of Kinsale.The Oberon continued her voyage under sail until she reached Cork Harbour. At the harbour mouth, the ship drove onto the shore at Canavan Point, White Bay, due to a south westerly gale. All on board were saved. The vessel was later towed off the rocks
October 20, 1879 Whaleboat On Monday October 20th 1879 a severe gale struck Cork, and the sea in the harbour was heavy. About 11 o’clock three Artillery men belonging to Camden Fort, and a civilian named Dennis, were crossing in an open boat between Carlisle Fort and Camden. At the mouth of the harbour in a heavy sea, the boat capsized, and the civilian and two of the soldiers, named Byrne and Smith, were drowned.The third soldier named Collaten, reached shore. The boat was subsequently found bottom up, but none of the bodies were recovered.
November 29, 1880 Derelict Vessel A derelict vessel, bottom up, went ashore in Ringabella Bay on November 29th 1880. She was towed off by steam tug that afternoon and beached upriver. The name of the vessel was unknown.
November 30, 1880 HMT Himalaya On Nov 30th 1880 the troopship Himalaya was leaving Queenstown. She went aground on the Bar Rock bank, which is inside the harbour. Fortunately the tide was rising, which enabled her to later reverse off.
March 04, 1881 Helenia
Bessie Winery
On Saturday Mar 05 1881 it was reported that during the recent heavy gale, the Queenstown lifeboat of the National Lifeboat Institution had been out twice on service. The first time she proceeded in tow of the steam tug Lord Bandon on information being received that the Helenia, from Cardiff for Naples, with coals was drifting ashore, about one mile east of Roches Point.
Before the lifeboat coud reach the scene of the wreck, the crew of eleven men were saved by means of the rocket apparatus.
Some hours afterwards the lifeboat went in tow of the steamer to the assistance of the distressed ship Bessie Whinery, of Whitehaven. Five of the lifeboatmen went aboard and helped to get her underway and safely into harbour
March 08 1881 Whaleboat On Monday march 07th 1881 a whale boat belonging to Fitzgeralds drapers, left Queenstown to ply for trade with ships in Cork harbour.There was a gale bowing and a heavy sea running which struck the boat and capsized her. Of the eight men on board, only one survived.
October 20,1881 Steam Pinnace During the strong gale that blew up in the third week of October 1881 causing widespread chaos throughout the British Isles. On Thursday the 20th A steam pinnace, belonging to HMS Revenge, the Cork port guard ship sank in shallow water. This was the same gale that sank the Idonico and the Cornubia.
October 20, 1881 Cornubia A strong gale blew up in the third week of October 1881 causing widespread chaos throughout the British Isles. On Thursday the 20th, a brigantine was reported sunk with all hands a quarter of a mile off Roches Point, Cork harbour. She was identified as the Cornubia, of Newport. She was 144tons register, and her owner was reported as;Thomas Driscoll, Coutrmacsherry, Co.Cork
October 20, 1881 Idonico The Austrian barque Idonico was on route from Liverpool to Baltimore (USA) with a cargo of salt when she was hit by gales. As the vessel lost way she began to drift to the lee-shore and grounded at Rocky Bay on Thursday the 20th. The waves were breaking over her and eventually washed the crew including the master's wife overboard. The captain and boatswain were the only survivors
December 25, 1881 Helenslea The barque Helenslea, was on a voyage from San Fransisco to Queenstown, when she entered Cork Harbour on the 29th of September. At this time the Cunard steamship Catalonia was coming out the harbour, on the same western channel. Through some lapse of judgment, the Catalonia ploughed into the port side of the Helenslea.
The damage to the Helenslea was fatal, and she sank in three minutes. The Catalonia stopped and lowered boats rescuing fifteen. Nine sailors lost their lives, making this the worst loss of life in a single incident in Cork Harbour
January 01, 1883 Chiapas The Chiapas was a new iron steamship on her maiden voyage from Glasgow to Demerara.In the Irish Sea, plates sprung in the bow and she developed a serious leak. The captain decided to run for Cork Harbour, as the vessel continued to fill. At the entrance to the harbour the crew took to the boats except for the captain and a fireman. The vessel quickly sank, with the captain recovered from the water. The fireman was not seen again.
March 23, 1883 Countess of Caithness On Friday 23rd of March 1883 the schooner Countess of Caithness was reported to be ashore at Crosshaven, but was expected to be refloated at high water.
March 12, 1884 Septimus On Wednesday March 12th 1884 the schooner Septimus, left Cork bound for Swansea. While proceeding under sail, she was driven onto the rocks under Fort Camden.
A tug and a local whaleboat approached. The tug could not get close and the whaleboat was overturned, with the loss of one local man. The lifeboat rescued four of the men, and the coastguard rescued another two from the shore. The Septimus quickly went to pieces.
May 18,1885 Commodore On the 18th of May 1885, the steam tug Commodore, of the Queenstown towing Company, went ashore at Black Head. This location is on the eastern side of the Old Head of Kinsale. She quickly filled with water. Attempts were made over the next two weeks to salvage the tug, but were eventually abandoned. The loss to the company was about £4000. Some reports give the location as Morris Head, near Robert’s Cove..
July 30, 1886 Monkstown and Agusta On the evening of the 29th of July 1886, the river steamer Monkstown with 70 passengers, was opposite the Spit Lightousewhen she collided with the coastal steamer Agusta.
The Agusta hit the Monkstown amidships, and the two vessels locked together. The passengers were able to scramble from the Monkstown on board the Agusta, which seemed to be in better repair, and they were eventually brought to Queenstown by the river steamer Glenbrook as the two damaged vessels limped to Passage West for repairs.
A court found that both vessels were at fault and the costs should be split.
March 18, 1886 Cartvale The British barque Cartvale hit the Harbour Rock in fog, on Wed Mar 17th 1886. She was bound from Samarang to Queenstown for orders and heavily laden she stuck fast on the rock. The crew were rescued by a local pilot boat, and within an hour the vessel had filled with water. Soon the Cartvale broke up completely, in a southerly gale.
September 17, 1886 Victoria Cross On the 17th of September 1886 the barque Victoria Cross left Cork harbour for Galway. She was under tow to the harbour mouth, and cast off. She did not get far however, and grounded on the Daunt Rock. The tug again tried to tow her but the Victoria Cross was badly holed. She was towed to Rocky Bay, where she grounded. All were saved but the seas soon broke up the Victoria Cross, with the remains salvaged.
November 20th 1893 Rathcoursey On Sunday Nov 19th 1893 the schooner Rathcourcey sought refuge from a gale sweeping the harbour by anchoring off Crosshaven at the mouth of the Ownabue River. The cables parted due to the strength of the wind and the vessel was driven ashore on the rocks where she became a total wreck. Fortunately the crew were saved.
August 11, 1895 Unnamed Yacht On Sunday the 11th of August 1895, a yacht was observed in difficulty in Cork Harbour. A severe gust caught the vessel putting it on its beam-ends. All the occupants were thrown into the water as the vessel shipped water and sank, taking two of the crew under. One person was rescued, however the other two, Cornelius and Henry Beamish, were drowned.
Mrch 20, 1896 Xema On Friday Mar 20th 1896 The Waterford steamer Ardnamult, Collided with the Xema of the City of Cork Steampacket Company, at the mouth of Cork Harbour.The Ardnamult
The Xema was holed below the waterline and had to be beached on Curlane Bank on the western side of the harbour. The passengers were landed in the Xema's boats. The Ardnamult was also extensively damaged.
October 08, 1896 Puffin (Daunt Lightship) On October 8 1896 a terrible gale swept the south coast of Ireland, the changing wind direction over the course of the night caused mountainous confused seas to develop. On the morning of the 9th , Coastguards reported that the lightship Puffin, Guarding the Daunt Rock was nowhere to be seen.
Incoming steamers reported signs of wreckage further east, but nothing to identify origin. Rumours abounded that the Puffin had been blown eastwards. However by November the remains of the Puffin were found on the seabed. The wreck was later raised and brought to Rushbrook. The entire crew of eight were lost.
July 12, 1898 Bulldog On the 12th of July 1898, the river steamer Monkstown had an excursion of 250 children from the Cork Workhouse on board. When opposite Passage, she collided with the steam tug Bulldog, with the Bulldog sinking immediately.
The two tug crew quickly sank from sight and were lost. The Monkstown searched the area for 15 minutes but no survivors were found.
A court of enquiry found the master of the Monkstown at fault for altering course. The Bulldog was raised and returned to service.
October 12, 1898 Whaleboat On Thursday night, October 21st 1898 the government steamer Cambridge was travelling upstream between Haulbowline and Rocky Island. Unknown to them there was a whaleboat containing 15 men in mid-channel in their path.
The boat contained workmen from the naval dockyard. The whaleboat was unlit and the Cambridge hit it amidships, driving it under the bow and sinking it immediately. The Cambridge stopped and rescued those men that could be found, but four local men were lost.
April 29, 1898 Lord Wolseley On April 30th 1898 the 4 masted-ship Lord Wolseley arrived at Cork Harbour. She was bound from Oregon to Queenstown for orders with a cargo of wheat.
On arrival at the harbour entrance the Lord Wolseley signalled for a pilot. The pilot schooner signalled the Lord Wolseley to follow her to calmer water off Ringabella.
At this point the pilot boarded, but the ship was unable to clear the reef off Fennel's Bay and grounded.
Two tugs, succeeded in towing the Lord Wolseley off the rocks for a sum estimated at £1000. She was then towed to Passage West docks for repairs.
December 06, 1899 Sir Redvers Buller On December 06th 1899, the War Department steamer, Sir Redvers Buller, went ashore in fog on Canavan’s Point, near Roches Point. She was bound from Dublin for Cork. The steamer was however refloated the following morning and anchored in harbour with no damage.