Hello!

Arklow Maritime & Heritage Museum Wrecks & Rescues

'Centuries of Sea-faring Heritage - A Story Worth Telling'

Arklow Maritime
& Heritage
Museum Wrecks & Rescues

Sorry

Tablet version comming soon



Back to home page



Wrecks & Rescues


    About eight miles off-shore from Arklow lies the notorious Arklow Bank, a massive sandbank that run for ten or more miles. They create one of the most dangerous navigational hazards in the Irish Sea - or anywhere. Countless shipwrecks and groundings have occurred on the bank. Because of this Arklow lifeboat station was established in 1826.
     It was not the first lifeboat station in Ireland, but it was the first under the auspices of what would become the RNLI. In 1876, to mark the 50th anniversary of its opening, the RNLI published this dramatic print of the Arklow lifeboat going to the rescue of a ship in distress in a horrific gale. There were no engines at that time, and in such conditions a sail would have been torn to shred. The only power was muscle-and-oar.


    In the almost 200 years of service, the voluntary crews of Arklow have saved over 400 people and silver medals have been awarded in recognition of their skill and courage. Their work today is as vital as it was in 1826. Read the full story in To the Banks and Beyond - a history of Arklow lifeboats 1826-2013. It is available from the museum or direct from the RNLI station in Arklow. €15, all proceeds go to Arklow lifeboats.

    Few sights are as sad as a shipwreck. Even when there has been no loss of life, there is something harrowing about it. Many Arklow ships have ended their days in such circumstances.

Wrecks & Rescues


    About eight miles off-shore from Arklow lies the notorious Arklow Bank, a massive sandbank that run for ten or more miles. They create one of the most dangerous navigational hazards in the Irish Sea - or anywhere. Countless shipwrecks and groundings have occurred on the bank. Because of this Arklow lifeboat station was established in 1826.
     It was not the first lifeboat station in Ireland, but it was the first under the auspices of what would become the RNLI. In 1876, to mark the 50th anniversary of its opening, the RNLI published this dramatic print of the Arklow lifeboat going to the rescue of a ship in distress in a horrific gale. There were no engines at that time, and in such conditions a sail would have been torn to shred. The only power was muscle-and-oar.


    In the almost 200 years of service, the voluntary crews of Arklow have saved over 400 people and silver medals have been awarded in recognition of their skill and courage. Their work today is as vital as it was in 1826. Read the full story in To the Banks and Beyond - a history of Arklow lifeboats 1826-2013. It is available from the museum or direct from the RNLI station in Arklow. €15, all proceeds go to Arklow lifeboats.

    Few sights are as sad as a shipwreck. Even when there has been no loss of life, there is something harrowing about it. Many Arklow ships have ended their days in such circumstances.

    The CELTIC was ten years old when she was bought in the Welsh port of Connah's Quay in 1905. Her first voyage as an Arklow schooner took her to Malta, Italy and France and her owners must have been pleased with their purchase, but her good service was to be short-lived. In August 1907 she left London with a cargo of cement for the Scottish port of Oban.
    The first stage of the trip went without incident, but after two days the wind grew stronger and blew into a gale. It tore the fore topmast from its position and it brought all the yards with it. Captain Hall gave the order to take in all sail with the exception of a standing jib, and the vessel was brought about before the wind. All that night they bore the brunt of the gale.

    As feeble light dawned, they could just make out Orkney and the master decided to try to make for the shelter of Hoy Sound. It proved impossible to gain control of the vessel and she was pushed onto rocks in Skaill Bay. The seas washed over the battered ship and water gushed through the breeches made by the impact. Anything not firmly held in position was swept overboard. The cook was taken from the deck by such a sea. Their plight did not go unnoticed. Four men and a woman watched the wreck from the shore. There was no hope of the vessel withstanding much more of the storm and Captain Hall gave the command for the crew to don lifebelts and to try to make their way ashore. Those who watched and waited anxiously gave what assistance they could and the exhausted, bruised men were brought to safety.

    The CELTIC was ten years old when she was bought in the Welsh port of Connah's Quay in 1905. Her first voyage as an Arklow schooner took her to Malta, Italy and France and her owners must have been pleased with their purchase, but her good service was to be short-lived. In August 1907 she left London with a cargo of cement for the Scottish port of Oban.
    The first stage of the trip went without incident, but after two days the wind grew stronger and blew into a gale. It tore the fore topmast from its position and it brought all the yards with it. Captain Hall gave the order to take in all sail with the exception of a standing jib, and the vessel was brought about before the wind. All that night they bore the brunt of the gale.

    As feeble light dawned, they could just make out Orkney and the master decided to try to make for the shelter of Hoy Sound. It proved impossible to gain control of the vessel and she was pushed onto rocks in Skaill Bay. The seas washed over the battered ship and water gushed through the breeches made by the impact. Anything not firmly held in position was swept overboard. The cook was taken from the deck by such a sea. Their plight did not go unnoticed. Four men and a woman watched the wreck from the shore. There was no hope of the vessel withstanding much more of the storm and Captain Hall gave the command for the crew to don lifebelts and to try to make their way ashore. Those who watched and waited anxiously gave what assistance they could and the exhausted, bruised men were brought to safety.

    It might surprise people to know that two Arklow boats and their crews were involved in the rescue of survivors from the torpedo attack which sank the LUSITANIA off Kinsale in 1915. Every year the Arklow fishing fleet could be found in west Cork for the mackerel season from March to the beginning of June.
    On 7 May 1915, the LUSITANIA was on the last stretch of her voyage from New York when she was sunk by the German submarine U-20. Skippers James Hagan of the DAN O'CONNELL and Edward White of the ELIZABETH immediately went to the aid of the men, women and children in the water. There is a display in the museum to commemorate their selfless, heroic acts.

    It might surprise people to know that two Arklow boats and their crews were involved in the rescue of survivors from the torpedo attack which sank the LUSITANIA off Kinsale in 1915. Every year the Arklow fishing fleet could be found in west Cork for the mackerel season from March to the beginning of June.
    On 7 May 1915, the LUSITANIA was on the last stretch of her voyage from New York when she was sunk by the German submarine U-20. Skippers James Hagan of the DAN O'CONNELL and Edward White of the ELIZABETH immediately went to the aid of the men, women and children in the water. There is a display in the museum to commemorate their selfless, heroic acts.

    It is tempting to think that the days of shipwreck and loss of life at sea are behind us now. That, somehow, technology has triumphed. Think again. Arklow lifeboat crews are called out as often now as they were at any time in their long history. Their courage is all the more remarkable because of a simple fact we often forget. Behind the selflessness that epitomises the work of lifeboatmen and women is the fact that for 99.9 per cent of the time they are just like everybody else.
    They have the same pressures and problems that we all have. They have families they worry about, and who worry about them. They have their good days and their bad days. They feel the cold just like the rest of us. They know fear just like the rest of us. They are not immune to danger. A Force 12 at sea treats them in exactly the same way as it treats the unfortunate people they are called upon to rescue.

   What sets lifeboat crews apart is their willingness to face those dangers and to overcome them through their skill and commitment. Despite great advancement in technology, the sea and the elements will never be mastered. Storms, faulty equipment, and human error will be with us until the end of time. Because of that, there will always be a need for human courage and compassion. There will always be a need for the 'lifeboat'. (from To the Banks and Beyond: a history of Arklow lifeboats 1826-2013.)

    It is tempting to think that the days of shipwreck and loss of life at sea are behind us now. That, somehow, technology has triumphed. Think again. Arklow lifeboat crews are called out as often now as they were at any time in their long history. Their courage is all the more remarkable because of a simple fact we often forget. Behind the selflessness that epitomises the work of lifeboatmen and women is the fact that for 99.9 per cent of the time they are just like everybody else.
    They have the same pressures and problems that we all have. They have families they worry about, and who worry about them. They have their good days and their bad days. They feel the cold just like the rest of us. They know fear just like the rest of us. They are not immune to danger. A Force 12 at sea treats them in exactly the same way as it treats the unfortunate people they are called upon to rescue.

   What sets lifeboat crews apart is their willingness to face those dangers and to overcome them through their skill and commitment. Despite great advancement in technology, the sea and the elements will never be mastered. Storms, faulty equipment, and human error will be with us until the end of time. Because of that, there will always be a need for human courage and compassion. There will always be a need for the 'lifeboat'. (from To the Banks and Beyond: a history of Arklow lifeboats 1826-2013.)

Hello!


Untitled