Daily Event for March 10, 2013

After sailing from Calcutta in early Dec. 1890 for Dundee, Scotland with 17,000 bales of jute, the steel barque Bay of Panama faced a miserable voyage. One hundred and eleven days it took to get from Calcutta to the Cornish coast, during that time storms battered the ship for over forty days according to some of the crewmen who survived.

When they reached the western approaches they encountered a blizzard and winds which blew them off course. At 0130 on March 10, 1891 the ship was driven ashore at Penare Point, near St. Keverne in Cornwall. Conditions rapidly deteriorated, within an hour many of the officers had been washed overboard and drowned, water was coming in the bows and the ship was being battered by the sea. Throughout the night more of the crew perished, one by one, frozen to death in the rigging. One, a boatswain, out of his mind, jumped from the mizzen top into the sea never to be seen again.

About noon that day the wreck was discovered and the coastguard station went into action. When they arrived on the scene the bodies of several men were seen in the rigging, but there were also survivors. A line was shot over to the ship and about twenty-two men were got off. The remaining eighteen, including the master and his wife had been lost.
© 2013 Michael W. Pocock

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