THE DERELICT HIRONDELLE
The Guernsey registered schooner HIRONDELLE was bound for Bristol with a cargo of fish oil from Newfoundland. On the evening of 9 January 1850 she was in collision, five miles south-west of Nash Point, with the steam ship Talbot which had been built three years earlier at Neath Abbey iron works. The Talbot ran a regular service between Bristol, Port Talbot, Tenby and Carmarthen and was returning to Bristol when the accident happened. The schooner was struck into and went over onto her side. Her master Perriere and all hands were picked up by the steamer and landed at Bristol.
On her next run down channel the Talbot fell in with the Hirondelle and took her in tow. The weather however was poor and the steamer short of coal so the derelict was abandoned once more.
The owners of the schooner then obtained a writ against the owners of the Talbot for the loss of the vessel and cargo. The steamer was released after her owners paid a bond of £1,000.
A few weeks later the Hirondelle was reported to have drifted down channel and seen still afloat off the Pembrokeshire coast between the Smalls and Bishop and Clerks. Her masts had gone and she was low in the water - an obvious hazard to shipping.
Eventually the wreck drifted ashore at Tywyn, Merionethshire (now Gwynedd). Sixty four hogsheads and pipes of oil were recovered intact with eight further containers damaged.