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A Narrow Escape – 1859

Detail from a lithograph of the United States Mail steamship SS Pacific (launched 1849). Day & Son (England), held at the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. USA. Sam Walters Wikimedia Commons

Detail from a lithograph of the United States Mail steamship SS Pacific (launched 1849). Day & Son (England), held at the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. USA. Sam Walters
Wikimedia Commons

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The Sydney Morning Herald 12th February  1859

(abridged)

The Pacific had a narrow escape from being caught on the iron-bound cliffs of Clare on her last passage to Galway.  The Pacific ran into Liscannor Bay instead of Galway Bay on Monday night, there being no distinguishing landmarks between them, and was actually approaching the shore of Lahinch when some of the fishermen put out in boats, and with lights warned off the steamer from the dangerous coast she was approaching. 

The only light at the entrance of Galway Bay is on the Arran Islands.  The course of a steamer sailing into Galway should be nearly six miles south of the Arran Light, but miscalculating the distance, the Pacific, when about 16 miles from the island, made for a bay which was supposed to be Galway, but which (fortunately before it was too late) was discovered to be Liscannor.  Were it not for the timely warning given by the fishermen the Pacific could not have escaped, except by a miraculous interposition of Providence, from total destruction, on the fatal spot to which she was fast hurrying.

Mitchell’s Maritime Register, 4th of December.

About The Burren and Beyond

B.A., M.A.(Archaeology); Regional Tour Guide; Dip. Radio Media Tech; H.Dip. Computer Science.

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