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Heroic conduct of Captain Archibald Macameron saves multiple lives

Year 1847

Read by Ben Sparkes – Supporter, Royal Humane Society

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January 15, 1847

Loss of the ” Sirius ” Steamer.

The vessel was on her passage to Dublin, on the 15th of January 1847, between the hours of two and three a.m., with a strong breeze and heavy sea running at the time.

The following account is given by one of the surviving passengers :- “The fury of the waves was, however, too great over the rocks, which every instant showed their heads above water, to allow of any landing by a boat; and it is the unanimous opinion of all on board, that but for the heroic conduct of Captain Archibald Macameron, commander of one of the river steamers, who was fortunately on board as a passenger, every soul on board must inevitably have been lost. This man, at the hazard of his life – and he was all but drowned in the attempt – descended the vessel’s side, being lowered in one of her small boats, which was capsized almost on touching the water, and by swimming, leaping, struggling, and buffeting with the waves, when all on deck thought he was lost, succeeded in drawing on to a shelving rock midway between us and the land, a stout hawser, by which one or two of the sailors descended to him and assisted in receiving the rest of the passengers, as they were lifted over the side which was out of water, and slung ashore by means of this rope and a life buoy. Thus were about twenty saved, each remaining as landed on the rock, with the spray or waves now and then dashing over us, till others followed in a similar way, when, again by Captain Macameron’s exertions, the hawser was made fast to a rock on the main- land, and we were at length, after nearly two hours’ suspense (principally spent in fog and darkness), slung safely ashore in the same manner.”

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