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Mennythorpe - wreck report


FINDING of a Naval Court of Inquiry convened at the British Consulate, Corunna, on the 13th day of June 1881, to investigate as to the cause of the stranding of the British steamship "MENNYTHORPE," of Hartlepool, O.N. 81,651, on the rocks near Baldayo, on the morning of Sunday the 5th instant.

The Court, composed of Edward Henry Walker, Esq., Her Britannic Majesty's Consul for the Provinces of Galicia and Asturias; Mr. Alexander Scott, master of the British barkentine "Lottie," of Halifax, O.N. 74,077; Mr. Joseph Hill, master of the British schooner "Sam Slick," of Plymouth, O.N. 28,162; Mr. Thomas Guyatt, British merchant, residence, Corunna; and Mr. Ricardo de Wrioste, clerk to the Court.

We, the undersigned, after a careful and impartial investigation of the evidence taken from that portion of the crew that composed the watch on deck when the steamship "Mennythorpe" struck on the Baldayo's Rocks, and after a careful examination of the ship's log, and, moreover, having worked out the said steamer's course from the entries in the said log from the time of her departure from "Start Point" and from the last observation made on Saturday, the 11th instant, at noon, are of opinion that the said steamer struck on the aforesaid rocks owing to an error in the navigation, which we consider in our opinion could have been avoided. On Saturday afternoon, the 4th instant, by observation, the steamer was in latitude 45° 30', longitude 7° 38'W., and from which position the course given to steer was S.W. 1/4 S., the said course given undoubtedly was not sufficient to the westward to clear the aforesaid steamer from the land which she was quickly approaching. Whereas had the course been given S.W. 1/2 W. instead of S.W. 1/4 S., the steamer would have passed to the westward of all the land, taking her between 10 to 12 miles to the westward, and in range of the lights. We, moreover, consider when there was an uncertainty as to the light observed by the look-out, the steamer ought to have at once been eased down and a cast of the lead taken. We therefore suspend the master's certificate for six months, but recommend that he should have the right of sailing under a first mate's certificate during that period, if he is desirous of availing himself thereof.

Lastly, in returning the chief mate's certificate, we do so with the remark that we hold him deserving of censure in not having at once stopped the steamer when he, the said mate, observed the light on the port bow referred to in the evidence.


ALEXANDER SCOTT, Master, Barkentine "Lottie."

JOSEPH HILL, Master, "Sam Slick."
E. H. WALKER, H.B.M.'s Consul, President of Court.
R. DE WRIOSTE, Clerk to the Court.

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