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Galway Bay rescue – 1930

Irish Examiner 26th November, 1930p7

Image; Galway Hooker Kinvara Photo: Cqui Wikimedia Commons
Image; Galway Hooker Kinvara
Photo: Cqui
Wikimedia Commons

The crew of the steam fishing drifter John Summers, which has just arrived in Galway, bring the news of the rescue on Saturday evening, after a thrilling battle with the gale, of the crews of two Connemara open sailing boats conveying turf across Galway Bay to Kinvara.
The John Summers was sailing to Kilronan, Arran Islands, and about two o’clock, when off the South Sound of the islands, two fishing boats were seen. Both were obviously in distress, as a storm had broken suddenly about half an hour before.
It was noticed that the sails of one of the vessels had been torn away and she was being tossed about helplessly. The other Connemara vessel signalled that she was in difficulties also, but as her sails were intact it was decided that they would have to go first to the helpless boat. At this time the two sailing vessels were a few miles apart.
The John Summers set off to the aid of the helpless boat, and when they overtook it they found it was the Columcille, of which the occupants were Coleman Royce and Peter Ridge, of Rosaveel, Connemara. By skilful manoeuvring, and not without a good deal of difficulty, the two men were taken on to the John Summers. The Columcille soon afterwards ran up on the Clare coast and was pounded to pieces on the rocks.  Then the John Summers returned to the rescue of the other boat, which in the meantime had been battling bravely against the storm. On coming near it was found that the boat was the Monte, and its occupants were Patrick Sullivan and John McDonagh, of Carraroe, Connemara. In the struggle against the storm Sullivan had been struck on the head with a piece of flying woodwork, and when he and McDonagh were taken on to the John Summers Sullivan was bleeding profusely and was in an exhausted condition. He later recovered. The Monte was taken in tow by the John Summers, but as they were entering Kilronan harbour the Monte cracked as a result of her terrific straining in the storm and she sank.

The John Summers was in charge of Captain Ritchie, and his action and that of his crew has been reported to the National Lifeboat Institution.



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

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