Account of the Wreck of the Rothsay Castle Steam Packet, in the Menai Strait, on Wednesday, August 17, 1831
R C, Wakefield, pseud. [Richard Cope]
Steamships, Accidents, Death, Piety, Electricity
Gives an account of the loss of the steamer during a storm. Propelled by only one engine, the ship made slow progress against the wind and arrived at the mouth of the Menai Strait as the tide was turning. Suddenly 'the steam got so low, that the engine could not keep the packet in its proper course' (339). With the bilge pumps choked, the water 'so overflowed the coals, that in renewing the fires, the wet coals slackened them, and the steam could not be maintained', and the ship became fixed on a sand bank (340). Criticizes the behaviour of the ship's captain, Lieutenant Atkinson. Reflects at some length on the closeness of death, and the need for piety. Observes that death 'may arrest us in the house; at a party; in a carriage; in the shop; in the house of God as well as in a steam packet. One may be struck by the electric fluid, another by apoplexy' (344).
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