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Wrecks OF The Pentland Firth
Part One  1830 - 1890
W. Bremner and D.G. Sinclair

Historical Articles      Wrecks Part Two 1918 - 1933    Wrecks Part Three 1934 - 1981

1847 - 1865  1866 - 1883  1884 - 1890

1830 - 1846

A series of a chronological list of wrecks and mishaps to vessels in the Pentland Firth is being started in this issue. The list was compiled by W. Bremner of Stroma and added to by David Sinclair, Secretary of the Scrabster Lifeboat. The record commences from 1830 and in this issue the years covered are 1830-1890.

10.2.1830 Brig "MARY" of Stornoway wrecked near Thurso. The crew of 5 were rescued by John Morgan, a member of the Thurso Coastguard, who was awarded the Silver Medal of the RNLI for his courage.

Late 1834 Schooner "HUNTER" of Leith wrecked (Position?). The crew of 6 were rescued by Benjamin Sinclair of Thurso in a small boat. He was awarded the Silver Medal of the RIMI.

March 1840 In a violent storm, two local fishing vessels were driven ashore near Thurso. A local man, John Smith, waded into the pounding surf and helped 7 men to safety. For his courage he was awarded the Silver medal of the RNLI.

26.4.1840 "BEN" - Thurso to Longhope, went ashore. Crew saved.

16.9.1840 "QUEEN VICTORIA" of South Shields, stranded on Stroma and refloated with help of Stroma men.

26.10.1840 "CLEOFRD" St. Petersburg to Liverpool, stranded on Ness of Duncansby and refloated.

4.1.1841 "YOUNG ALBA" Thurso to Rosehearty, totally wrecked at Sandside. Crew saved.

21.8.1841 "ST. MARY" of Hull, from Quebee with timber, totally wrecked on Pentland Skerries. Crew saved but one local helper lost.

29.8.1841 "ACTIVE" South Uist for Newcastle, foundered off Handa. Crew saved.

12.9.1841 "SWIFT" Peterhead to Cork, struck on Stroma. Refloated and sent to Stromness for repairs.

20.9.1841 "WILLIAM" Stockholm for Brazil, totally wrecked in Gills Bay. Crew saved.

12.11.1841 "UNION" brig from Shields to Ireland, grounded on Huna. Refloated and proceeded on voyage.

10.4.1842 "RAPID" Newcastle to Montreal, struck on Stroma. Refloated and sent to Stromness for repair.

11.9.1842 "HARMONY" Shield to Dublin, totally wrecked on Stroma. Crew saved.

30.9.1842 "DAHLIA" Liverpool to St. Petersburg. Totally wrecked on Pentland Skerries. Crew saved.

24.11.1842 " " unknown barque struck on Stroma but refloated and proceeded on voyage.

1.12.1842 " " unknown schooner foundered off Cape Wrath, all hands lost.

17.12.1842 "CALEDONIA" barque of Greenock, Cleheur Bay to the Clyde. Totally wrecked in Rackwick Bay. Crew saved.

21. 3.1843 "THOMAS DRYDEN" Shields to Dublin, totally wrecked on Huna. Crew saved.

30. 3.1843 "EARL OF MARCH" Cromarty to Campbeltown, struck on Stroma. Refloated.

15. 8.1843 "MARGARET" Inverness to Thurso, sprang a leak while entering Thurso Harbour and drove ashore. Total wreck, crew saved.

2. 9.1843 "DAN COSSACK" of Leith, totally wrecked in Murkle Bay. Crew saved.

19. 9.1843 " " unknown schooner, St. Petersburg to Liverpool, struck on Duncansbay. Refloated and proceeded.

1. 1.1844 "MARY" Shields for Liverpool, lost 40 miles west of Thurso. Crew saved.

24. 4.1844 "STAR" Liverpool for Dingwall, totally wrecked in Scrabster Roads. Crew saved.

12. 5.1844 "ELIZA" of Kirkcudbright, totally wrecked on Lother Rock. Only one of crew saved.

17. 5.1844 "RED ROVER" Aberdeen for Tacohiboe, totally wrecked on Scrabster Sands. Crew saved.

25. 7.1844 "NAIAD" Sunderland for Quebec, struck on Stroma during dense fog. Refloated and sent to Stromness for repairs.

20. 7.1845 "ATALANTA" of Colchester, from Spey to Thurso, struck on Stroma. Refloated on following tide.

8.10.1845 "WATERLOO" of Hull, stranded on Cantick Head during heavy S.S.E. gale. Later refloated.

20.10.1845 "BRTTANNIA", Shetland to Belfast, totally wrecked in Thurso Bay. Mate lost.

20.10.1845 "HYLTON", brig of South Shields, from Liverpool, struck a rock in Cantick Sound. Considerably damaged but refloated later.

20.10.1845 "DAVID" of Belfast, Riga for Liverpool, totally wrecked in Rackwick Bay. Crew saved.

20.10.1845 "ELIZA JANET" of St. John's Newfoundland, Hamburg for St. John's, totally wrecked on Switha. Crew saved.

20.10.1845 "WEASEL", Inverness schooner, totally wrecked at Cape Wrath. Bound for Liverpool. The Master and a seaman lost.

1.12.1845 "GREENWELL" of Sunderland, struck on Hunda, but refloated.

17.12.1845 "HENRY" of Montrose, Riga for Londonderry, struck on Heckness. Discharged part of cargo and refloated.

22.12.1845 "ISABELLA", Lough Green for Sunderland, totally wrecked on Dunnet Sands. Crew saved.

17. 3.1846 "ADMIRAL" of Sunderland, totally wrecked at Armadale. All hands lost.

15. 4.1846 "RALPH WYLAN" South Shields for Quebec. Totally wrecked on Stroma during heavy fog. Crew saved.

13. 9.1846 "ALEX FORBES" of Dundee, Sunderland to Thurso, took fire in Aith Hope and was burned to the water's edge.

27.12.1846 'ITMON", Miramichi for Leith, totally wrecked on Dunnet Sands. Crew saved.

1847 - 1865

This article first appeared in the Caithness Filed Club Bulletin April 1983