Go Back Report # 1281





Destruction of a Ship by Lightning.


     The Maise, a vessel belonging to Messrs. Emanuel, Young & Co. of South Shields, has been lost under the following circumstances, and the master, Mr. Pearson, the only survivor, arrived at home after much suffering. The Maise was laden with Indian corn, from Ibrail for Cork, and on her passage home was, on the 3rd August, by log, 30 miles to the N. and W. of Cape Bon. It came on a dreadful storm of thunder and lightning, and while they were employed on deck, and the master states before anyone had time to say “God help us!” a ball of fire came out of the heavens, struck the masts of the vessel, and in a moment capsized her. The master, Mr. Pearson, computes that in 3 minutes she went down, and there was nothing left on the surface of the water but the spars floating about. The principal part of the crew must have been killed by the electric fluid, as the master, after narrowly escaping death on being sucked down by the vessel, did not, when he came to the surface, see any of them, with the exception of William Murray, a sailor lad. The master got hold of two oars, a rigger ten feet long, and a studdingsail yard, with which he made a raft as best he could; and, having secured the poor lad Murray, they floated away to sea. Their sufferings were intense during the night, as they were partially immersed in the water, and the oars and spars chafed their bodies, abraiding [sic- abrading] the skin, and producing a great “raw.” Their sufferings when the sun got up were increased by the sun’s rays striking their bare heads. The master, the stronger person, cheered up the boy, who seemed, however, towards 12 o’clock at noon, to give way. His bowels then appeared to obtrude, the muscles of the abdomen having been chafed through, and he was suffering the most intense agony. Having stood out bravely so long, at last the poor lad begun [sic-began] to sink. He said, “Good by master, God help my poor Mother;” and was lost to the master’s sight. Having drifted about till 5 p.m. of the 4th, the position of the master was descried by the master and crew of the barque Peter Schroeder, of North Bergen, who bore down to him, and got him on board in a most exhausted condition.


Reference for the above text is: Launceston Examiner, Tasmania, Australia, February 1, 1853.

Received from: Chris Aubeck (Magonia Exchange), E-mail dated May 24, 2011.




Europe – United Kingdom, South Tyneside

South Shields   Latitude 55-00-00 N, Longitude 001-26-00 W (D-M-S) [harbor]

Reference: http://geonames.nga.mil/ggmaviewer/


Europe – Romania, Brăila

Ibrail   Latitude 45-16-00 N, Longitude 027-59-00 E (D-M-S) [seat of 1st-order admn. div.]

Reference: http://geonames.nga.mil/ggmaviewer/


Europe – Ireland, Cork (English), Corcaigh (Irish)

Cork     Latitude 51-51-08 N, Longitude 008-15-36 W (D-M-S) [harbor]

Reference: http://geonames.nga.mil/ggmaviewer/


Africa – Tunisia, Nābul. Body of water is the Mediterranean Sea.

Cape Bon   Latitude 37-05-00 N, Longitude 011-02-20 E (D-M-S) [cape]

Reference: http://geonames.nga.mil/ggmaviewer/


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