In Dangerous Position

Found 26 October 1881, between Drogheda and Laytown, east coast of Ireland.

Enclosed in a tin case:

Barque S. Vaughan, October 22, 1881: Whoever takes this up, please send the following message to S. Vaughan, Liverpool – Anchored off Laytown; masts cut away; one anchor and one chain gone; in dangerous position; send tug as soon as possible; am afraid will not hold out much longer. A. Dickson, master. Be kind enough to send this off at once, as I am very anxious if she parts the other cable we will have a hard time; could the lifeboat come off and stand by us together, and take us off in case we drive ashore.

An example of a message in a bottle – or, in this case, tin – being used as a practical call for assistance, this message was found four days after it had been sent. Newspapers reported that a trawler with a lifeboat in tow proceeded to help the S. Vaughan, of Windsor, Nova Scotia. A few days later a telegram was sent to the owners to advise that the vessel had been brought ashore, presumably with A Dickson and his crew, although their status was not recorded.

[Edinburgh Evening News, 28 October 1881 and Belfast News-Letter, 4 November 1881]

Author: Paul Brown

Writes about football, history, true adventure. The Guardian, Four Four Two, When Saturday Comes, The Blizzard, Longreads, Deadspin, etc. Latest book: The Ruhleben Football Association. Twitter: @paulbrownUK

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