Iron screw steamer Earl of Carrick, built Barclay & Curle, Glasgow, 1855
214grt, 146nrt, 144 x 20 x 11 ft
Engines 40hp, 1 screw.
Owned Ayr & Liverpool SS Co.
Voyage Ayr to Liverpool, with cargo of pig iron and grain
Ran aground at Niarbyl, Isle of Man, on 20 December 1857
Captain Allenby, 13 crew and 2 passengers, only 2 saved.
From Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald - Saturday 26 December 1857
WRECK OF THE STEAMER EARL OF CARRICK, AND LOSS OF FOURTEEN LIVES [13 in another report]. (From the Ayr Advertiser.) It has rarely been our duty, in chronicling events of special local interest, to record a more mournful disaster than that which, on Sabbath morning last [20 December 1857], overtook the screw steamship Earl of Carrick, belonging to this port, and her hapless passengers and crew, on the passage from Ayr to Liverpool. The brief telegraphic announcement reached Mr. Steele, the agent here, late on Monday night, of her total loss at Port-Erin, Isle of Man, with the melancholy addition that only two seamen had been saved. The tidings spread rapidly through the town, and excited the most painful interest, the greater part of the crew having belonged to the place, and been well known to many of the inhabitants.
The steamer was advertised to sail from Ayr on Friday last; but, in consequence of the very boisterous state of the weather, she did not leave our harbour till about 12 o'clock on Saturday, when the storm had considerably moderated. She had on board her usual crew, consisting of John Allenby, commander; [James] Spencer, mate; Jas. Mair, second mate; Alex. M'Mullan, first engineer; Robert Campbell, second do.; James Caddis and James Camelly, firemen; John Lyon, David Baillie, James Watt, and William Lawson, seamen; Israel Moore, steam-winch driver; Miss Cameron, stewardess; and John M'Guffock, cabin boy, whose first trip it was. [names spelled differently in other reports] There were only two passengers, viz., Captain Paton, belonging to Newton-on-Ayr, who for a long time, commanded various coasting vessels in the Liverpool trade; and a young man, name unknown, supposed to be a native of England. She was well, though not heavily laden - her cargo consisting of about 85 tons of pig iron, and a considerable quantity of grain, besides some potatoes and other agricultural produce. It was remarked that she never sailed in more trim condition.
On Saturday night it again blew hard, and early on Sabbath morning the steamer was on the west side of the Isle of Man, which is off her usual course; but it is believed the captain was induced to take this side of the Isle, in consequence of the direction of the wind and the darkness of the night rendering it more unsafe to proceed by the ordinary route, where there was danger of the vessel running on the banks stretching between the Isle and the English mainland. It is feared he must have miscalculated his exact position to the westward. At all events, at five o'clock on Sabbath morning, while it was blowing fearfully, and when no one had any idea that she was so close on shore, the vessel struck on a low ridge of rocks at Dalby Point, about four miles from Peel. All hands were on deck at the time - changing the watch - and the shock would come upon them like a death-knell. Little time, however, was given even for the reflection of despair. The stewardess was washed overboard by a wave, and almost immediately the vessel parted amidships and the unhappy crew found themselves struggling among the merciless waves.
Only two of the seamen - viz., John Lyon and James Watt - succeeded in reaching the shore alive. The latter saved himself by means of a life-buoy, and was somewhat bruised, though he soon recovered. Lyon, who, is, we believe, a most expert and fearless swimmer, must have swam ashore. He did not complain of any injuries. The engineer, also, had hold of a life-buoy; and when last seen, he was struggling in the water.
Two bodies came ashore in the course of Sunday, and were identified as those of Captain Paton and the stewardess. The latter was almost naked, but her petticoat floated in shortly after her. It is supposed she had rushed on deck immediately on being aroused by the shock, with her boots on, and such articles of apparel as she could hastily throw around her, and in this condition was instantly swept overboard. The captain and mate belonged to Liverpool; the stewardess and engineer to Glasgow: all the rest of the crew belonged to Ayr.
Captain Allenby was an experienced commander, having been engaged in the steam coasting trade to and from Liverpool for upwards of 20 years, and being intimately acquainted with the navigation of the Irish Sea. The mate had also been, for a considerable time, a commander on the Liverpool and Dublin line.
The loss to the owners of the vessel will be fully covered by insurance - a considerable portion of the cargo was also insured.
The survivors of the wreck have been kindly cared for by Mr. Lockhart, of the Customs at Peel, and will probably be detained there for a few days longer by order of the coroner, for the purpose of identifying the bodies of such of their shipmates as may be cast ashore.
LATEST PARTICULARS: A letter was received yesterday forenoon, containing information from Mr. Boardman, Lloyd's agent for the southern district of the Isle of Man, that the vessel struck of Niarbyl Point, about half way between Peel and Port Erin, and sunk in deep water, not a portion of her being seen. Little hope is entertained of any of her cargo being saved. The letter states that several of the bodies have come ashore, but it does not specify which.