Page:Journal of a Voyage to Greenland, in the Year 1821.djvu/91

This page has been validated.



were unable to assist them, all their attention being requisite for their own preservation; as the ship lay almost on her beam ends. In this critical situation they had not remained many minutes, when a wave struck the boats, filled and overwhelmed them, and the whole of the crews, nineteen in number, perished. But this catastrophe, melancholy as it was, formed only a small proportion of the disasters of the storm.

"While the different ships were endeavouring to make their way clear of the ice, the ship, Pennant, was struck by so dreadful a surge, that it foundered, and all the crew perished; the same wave struck the ships, Perseverance and Rockingham, by which one of the quarter-boats of the latter was thrown upon the deck and the bulwark, fore and aft, was washed away; five boats and five men were washed from the sides and deck of the former, while at the same time, such damage was occasioned to the hull of the ship, that it was under the necessity of returning home to refit. A Dutch snow, on board of which the crews of six English boats had taken refuge, falling to leeward against a point of ice, was wrecked, and all on board perished. It was estimated that, during this dreadful gale, about four hundred foreign seamen, and nearly two hundred British, were drowned, and four or five ships totally lost; scarcely any escaped without damage."

To return from this digression to the more immediate account of our proceedings, we had not sailed more than an hour or two into the ice after