The master and six saved, eleven men lost



Looking at Volume 5 of Shipwreck Index of the British Isles, by Richard and Bridget Larn, I noticed that they have listed a ship named ARAMINTA as being wrecked off Holyhead on 18 March 1867. I did not have this vessel in my list of Anglesey wrecks and when I took a look at Welsh newspapers for the week following it was not mentioned. However I did find the story of the loss of this ship in a number of English newspapers. The following is taken from the Shields Daily Gazette of Friday 29 March 1867 and from Lloyds Register for 1866.

The full rigged ship ARAMINTA of 830 tons was purchased in Liverpool by three Sunderland men including Capt T. Bullard. The vessel took on a cargo of salt and sailed from Liverpool on 17 March 1867 bound for Boston USA. Capt Bullard had a crew of seventeen.

When off Holyhead that evening a strong S.E. gale sprang up and the vessel began to leak. The pumps were working well at first but by 10 p.m. the depth of water was increasing and by midnight they were found to be choked with salt. It seems that the ship also had a machine driven pump which was then put into use but after a while this too became choked. The crew were then forced to resort to continuous bailing with buckets.

By 10 a.m. the next day, Monday 18 March, the ship was 20 miles north of The Smalls off the Pembrokeshire coast. As the bailing was failing to reduce the leak Capt Bullard ordered preparations to be made to abandon ship. The longboat was got ready for launching and loaded with bread, water, a compass and candles.

A schooner hove in sight at 11 a.m. and the Araminta hoisted distress signals. The ship was settling fast and the sea running high. The longboat was launched but stove in by a heavy sea which rendered it useless. Capt Bullard then suggested that Oliver, the first mate, should launch the gig and take men to the schooner but Oliver thought the boat was too small and risky. Capt Bullard then told him to get the lifeboat launched with ten of the crew while he and six men used the gig.

Bullard, the boatswain, carpenter, two able seamen and two ordinary seamen, rowed to the schooner which lay just a cable length from the ship. As they got alongside a sea drove the gig against the ship and stove it in. The seven men were able to get aboard the Corria, of Flensburg, Capt Molson. Looking across to the Araminta they watched as the lifeboat was launched but with the sea so rough and the ship settling it got under the starboard quarter. The ship was pitching and fell on the lifeboat throwing all eleven men into the water. They stood no chance and all went down as the lifeboat and ship sank. The schooner was unable to save any of those men so set sail and resumed her voyage for the West Indies (which port she had sailed from I have failed to find).

On Wednesday 20 March the Corria met the Duchess of Sutherland, of Exeter, which had been damaged in the gale and was also leaking and had lost many of her sails. As she was putting back to Falmouth for repair Capt Bullard and the other six survivors of the Araminta were taken aboard by Capt Davey.  This allowed the Corria to sail for the West Indies. The Duchess arrived at Falmouth on Saturday 23 March to land the survivors.

The mate Oliver was the only man from the Sunderland area lost and had lived at Moor Street, Hendon.