Thursday, 10 November 2016

RIP - All souls aboard the Harpooner

Today marks the 200th anniversary since the British transport ship, Harpooner, ran aground and sank near Cape Pine, Newfoundland.

Souls Saved - 177
Souls Lost - 208

Harrowing first hand account 
- December 1816
"On November 10, 1816, the British transport ship HMS Harpooner was wrecked near St. Shott's...The ship was carrying soldiers and their families home to England. More than two hundred men, women, and children died. According to local tradition, some marines who had managed to get ashore, were buried alive when a portion of cliff, weakened by the storm and seas, collapsed on them. The site has since been known as Marines's Cove. In terms of loss of life, the wreck of the Harpooner was one of the worst marine calamities in Newfoundland history. 

Many years after the disaster, some fishermen who were unfamiliar with the history of the area anchored their boat in Marines' Cove. During the night the man on watch saw one longboat towing another. Both were full of men, women and children. A big man was at the helm. As the longboat passed the fishing boat, the helmsman called up to the man on watch, "What's our course to clear Cape English?" The lookout answered, "Nor Nor-east." The watchman believed he had just seen the survivor of a shipwreck so he went below to tell the captain. The other crewmen came on deck in time to see the lantern of the longboat disappear toward the shore. 

The next morning, with a gale blowing, the fisherman searched the shore for signs of the wreck or other survivors. They found nothing. When they told local residents about the lifeboats full of people, they were told that they had seen the ghosts of the doomed Harpooner." - excerpt from Ghost Stories of Newfoundland and Labrador by Edward Butts