HC Deb 01 April 1884 vol 286 cc1279-80

asked the President of the Board of Trade, Whether his attention has been called to the fact that a new and valuable vessel was lost in Kingstown Harbour, during the month of February, by running, during a gale, on the south-western foreshore of the harbour, between the Royal Irish Yacht Club and the coastguard station; whether other vessels or yachts have been lost on or near the same part of the harbour in former storms; whether the above-named portion of the harbour, not being fitted with a quay wall or with a timber framing, and the foreshore being composed of projecting rocks, is a cause of danger to ships at anchor during the prevalence of easterly gales, and if the Government intends to complete this portion of the said harbour with a quay wall or timber framing, from which vessels could be warped off in case they dragged their anchors or broke from their moorings during a storm; whether he is aware that, during one of the recent storms, a large American vessel, the G. B. Sutton, with a valuable cargo of grain, went on shore in Kingstown Harbour, and would have been lost had not a Liverpool tug-boat, which was fortunately at hand, gone to her assistance, and that the sum of £260 was demanded and paid for the services rendered by the tug-boat on the occasion; and, whether the Commissioners of said harbour will make arrangements in future to have a steamer ready during dangerous gales, to render assistance to vessels in distress in or about the said harbour?


Sir, I have inquired into this matter, and find that a vessel of 179 tons, and at least 30 years old, was lost in the way described on the 1st February last; one other vessel was so lost about 10 years ago, and another in 1861. The piece of foreshore where these wrecks occurred is left on purpose without a wall in order that the waves may break there; were it not for this the anchorage space would be diminished. I have ascertained that the G. B. Sutton did not go ashore; but, as she showed signs of drifting against the mail pier, she was assisted by the tug which had brought her over from Holyhead. As experience shows that such cases may be expected only once in 10 years, it would not be proper to sanction a large expenditure from public funds to provide against them.