The Loss Of The Polyphemus|
29th of January 1856
Source: Daily News 13 Feb 1856
This afternoon, eight officers and sixty-six men of her Majesty's paddle-sloop Polyphemus, 6 guns. Commander F. P. Warren, lost on the north-west coast of Jutland, on the 29th of January, arrived at this port by rail, to await their trial by court-martial, with the remainder of the officers and crew. The following are the officers that have arrived to-day: Lieutenant Frederick Pyne (first lieutenant), Lieutenant England, Mr. H. W. V. Warmington (paymaster), Mr. Stracey (midshipman), Mr. Burnett (master's assistant), and Messrs.Morris, Jones, and Chambers (engineers). Commander Warren awaits for orders from the Admiralty as to his future movements, and in order to secure any portion of the ship or her engines, or other stores, if possible.
It appears that the officers and crew of the ship bad to reach the coast of Jutland from the wreck by means of the masts, which were cut away, all the boats being either swamped when lowered, stove in, or separated from the ship. The fog was very heavy and thick, and a strong current aided in getting the ship on a sandbank, south of Hansholmen Light. Although only about a quarter of a mile from the shore no land could be seen. Mr. Herbert, in one of the paddle-box box boats, with ten men had left the ship for the purpose of laying out an anchor to warp the vessel off by, and having succeeded in this duty, on returning, the boat was swamped, and all hands were lost. The second gig and the cutter endeavoured to reach the shore to get aid, but the surf was too great to allow them to land, and they pulled out to a vessel in the offing, about (apparently) about seven miles off.
On reaching the shore, the officers and men were very hospitably treated by the natives, mostly fishermen, who placed their huts at the service of the shipwrecked mariners, supplying them with food or anything else they were in need of. From Thisted, the nearest town to where the wreck took place, the officers and men who have come here to-day travelled to Flensburg in country carts, each farmer being required by the authorities to supply a certain number; these vehicles being open, the cold was found very severe. From Flensburg they went by rail to Hamburg, and from thence to London by the steamer Trident, arriving at St. Katherine's Dock Wharf at 9 o'clock last night. They arrived here this afternoon at five o'clock, and were at once placed on board the Victory flag ship, pending the court-martial. The bodies of four of the drowned had been washed on shore prior to Lieutenant Pyne leaving the coast. It is only fair to state that all the officers speaking in the highest terms of the coolness and judgement displayed by Commander Warren under the trying circumstances of the wreck. It is, however, stated that had the wreck taken place at night instead of day, all hands must have been lost.
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