HL Deb 21 May 1878 vol 240 cc349-50

asked the noble Lord who represented the Admiralty in that House, three Questions of which he had given him private Notice—namely, What further preparations are being made for raising the "Eurydice;" what was the total number of bodies that has been recovered up to the present time; and whether there is an efficient boat and crew on board the vessel moored near the wreck, to be sent out if required to pick up bodies which may come to the surface?


reminded their Lordships that the original intention was to raise the Eurydice by placing two lighters, one at bow and one at stern, which were to be attached by hawsers at low water. It was hoped that as the tide rose the vessel would rise with it. The great difficulty had been found to result from the strength of the tides. The Eurydice was in 12 fathoms of water, across the tide, and, as the latter ran generally five to six knots, it had been found almost impossible to keep the lighters in position—especially in the unfavourable circumstances of the weather. To give them an idea of the difficulties which the working parties had had to contend against, he might refer to the official report of operations since the 7th. From the 7th to the 11th, divers down seven to eight hours; since the 12th only down once for a short time, but too much sea to work; 15th, rolling truly dreadful, since which no diving; gale. What was now intended was this—to moor four additional lighters immediately over her—divers would be employed in placing toggles in ports on each side; to the toggles would be attached steel hawsers, and these would be brought to the four lighters, which, in addition to the two original lighters at bow and stern would, it was anticipated, lift the vessel bodily out of the bed she had made for herself. She had settled 9 feet, and her lee ports were level with the sand. With regard to the second Question of the noble Earl—the number of bodies recovered up to the present time was 20. There were boats and efficient crews to man them—boats that could live in all ordinary weather. On several occasions the weather had been such that no boat could live. There were dockyard tugs also constantly on the look-out for bodies, except when the weather was too bad to allow them to remain near the wreck.

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