‘The Water gained upon us fast… before day light, I was obliged to Order the People on the Quarter Deck & Poop, the Water being up to the Cills of the Upper Deck, and as the Ship rolled, struck with so much violence against the Quarter Deck, as to break several of the Beams… About 8 o’Clock in the Morning, I had the pleasure to see several Boats coming to our assistance’
So wrote Captain George Murray describing the events leading up to the 1797 sinking of HMS Colossus while anchored off the Scilly Isles. The horrific story is vividly described in an extract from the ship’s log included in an appendix to an impressive archaeological survey, and it makes harrowing reading until rescue comes in sight.
See a pdf file of the survey here; the story of the sinking appears on page 94 onwards.
My thanks to Martin Corrick of the Openboat Yahoogroup for spotting and reporting this astonishing piece of material.
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