Wreck of the “Polyphemus”

Wreck of the “Polyphemus”. 1856. Source: Illustrated London News. Click on image to enlarge it.

Article in Illustrated London News on the preceding page

The Polyphemus, war-steamer, sailed from Hull on Sunday, the 27th of January, having only a few days previously arrived at that port from the Baltic. On the following Tuesday, about ten in the morning, the vessel was driven on shore about seven miles south-west of Hautsholmen Lighthouse, on the coast of Jutland. Minute-guns of distress had been fired for some time, to call the attention of a vessel which was seen at a short distance, but, owing to a thick fog which prevailed, no assistance could be obtained from her. The cutter and second gig were lowered, and a number of the crew jumped into them. but, not being able to pass the breakers, they pulled out to sea, in the hope of reaching the vessel before mentioned. Nothing ba« been heard of the men in either of these two boats.

Mr. Herbert, master, and ether twelve men, launched the paddle-box beat, but she swamped almost immediately, and only two of those on board of her were saved. The remainder of the crew were landed by a party of Danish coast-guard men who had been watching the vessel for some time. A howser was made fast to the pinnace before lowering her into tbe surf. A large cask was slung to the hawser, and thus the men were enabled to reach the shore one by one.

The men found tbe country covered with snow when they landed, and the lakes and rivers all frozen over. Lieutenant Frederick Pyne, Messrs. Warrington, Jones, Burnett, Stracey, Morris, and Chambers, officers, together with thirty-four sailors and eight marines, set off instantly for Hamburg, travelling through Jutland, Schleswig, and Holstein in open carts—the only vehicles they could obtain.

Captain Hay, Dr. Everest, Lieutenant England, Mr. Wood, chief engineer, and twenty-seven of the crew, remained for some time at the village pf Thiated. On tbe 1st February, three days after the shipwreck, the Polyphemus was totally dismasted, full of water, and breaking up. Captain Warren and the chief engineer expected to save some of the machinery.

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“Wreck of the “George Lord,” off the Isle of Wight.” Illustrated London News (2 February 1856): 118. Hathi Trust Digital Library version of a copy in the University of Michigan Library. Web. 9 December 2015.

Last modified 12 December 2015