News from 1875 Adriatic I sinks the schooner Columbus

Mark Baber

Jul 4, 2000
MAB Note: The following are two excerpted from different articles in the
same edition of The Times. "Monday" was 8 March.

The Times, 11 March 1875

DUNDALK, March 10---The Enterprise, steamer, arrived here from
Liverpool. Captain Farrel reports when leaving Liverpool heard cries
from people in the river. Sent his boat and took Captain Jones, his
wife, five men, and Liverpool pilot off the three-masted schooner
Columbus, of Whitehaven, from Fowey for Runcorn. All were on
foretopgallant yard, then level with the water. They said their vessel
was run into by an inward bound large steamer on Monday night, one mile
south of Crosby Lightship, in mid channel. The Columbus sank in ten
minutes. Captain's child drowned. Although the steamship was hailed that
the Columbus was going down, she passed on without rendering any
assistance. All will return to Liverpool by Enterprise to-morrow night.
This is the second crew saved by Captain Farrel within the past ten


Early on Tuesday morning it was discovered that a three-masted schooner
had sunk in the Crosby Channel. A seaman's chest,which was brought
up yesterday,showed that the vessel was the Columbus, bound from Fowey
for Liverpool. The captain and crew, who were taken off by the steamer
Enterprise and landed at Dundalk, report that their vessel had been in
collision with a large steamer. This seems to correspond with the report
of the master of the White Star steamer Adriatic, who stated that when
inward bound on the same night his steamer was in collision with a


Mark Baber

Jul 4, 2000
The Times, 27 May 1875

(Before the Right Hon. Sir R. J. PHILLIMORE and TRINITY MASTERS)

This was a cause of damage for a collision, which happened about 12 o'clock
at night of the 8th of March last, between the three-masted schooner
Columbus and the screw-steamship Adriatic, about a mile S.S.E. of the Crosby

The schooner, bound from Fowey to Runcorn, with china-clay, and having on
board a crew of six men and the master's wife and child, was on the port
tack heading west when the masthead light of the Adriatic was seen some
miles off. The schooner was afterwards being got ready for letting go her
anchor and had come up into the wind, and her jibs were being hauled down,
when the Adriatic was seen with all three lights open about a quarter of a
mile off on the starboard beam. The Adriatic was hailed, but she
nevertheless struck the schooner violently on the starboard quarter, cutting
her quarter clean off. A boat was lowered from the schooner, but was
capsized, and after the schooner sank her top-gallant-yard remained above
water, which the crew reached and clung to. While they were clinging to it
the master's wife was observed floating by and was rescued and secured to
the yard, but her child, which had been in her arms when the schooner sank,
was drowned. It was alleged by the plaintiffs that although they screamed
and shouted for assistance the Adriatic proceeded on her course without
stopping or attempting to aid them. The Adriatic is a screw-steamship of
nearly 4,000 tons, and had about 400 passengers on board from New York for
Liverpool, and it was contended on her behalf that the night was dark, that
the schooner had no lights visible, and therefore she was not seen until she
was only about a cable's length off. The master, in answer to the charge
against him, stated that after the collision he asked those on board the
schooner if she was much injured, and received no reply; that he therefore
considered the damage slight, that he stayed by the schooner for about half
an hour, and then as his ship was in danger of going on to the sand he
proceeded on to Liverpool, and on his way directed several smaller
steamships to go to the schooner's assistance.

Mr. Milward, Q.C., and Mr. Goldney appeared for the owners, master, and crew
of the schooner Columbus; Mr. Butt, Q.C., and Mr. Bruce for the owners of
the Adriatic.

His LORDSHIP was of opinion that the master had given no reason to account
for his not having lowered a boat and so ascertained the extent of the
damage, especially if as the master said, he stayed by the schooner for
about half an hour. His Lordship said he acquitted the master of deliberate
inhumanity, but thought that the master must have lost his presence of mind,
and that if assistance had been rendered by those on board the steamship the
child's life might have been saved. As no reasonable excuse had been shown
by the master for not remaining by the schooner, the collision must, under
the provisions of the 33d section of the Merchant Shipping Act Amendment
Act, 1862," in the absence of proof to the contrary be deemed to have been
caused by his wrongful act, neglect, or default." His Lordship then examined
the evidence, and came to the conclusion that there was no such proof to the
contrary, and that therefore the Adriatic was alone to blame for the
collision. Decree accordingly.