This list of vessels shipwrecked on the
Falklands was among various
memorabilia left by my father. It was probably prepared in
the 50's,1950 being the last year an entry is recorded.
An archive index and summary can be found below. More detailed entries can be found by following the links on the left.
The shipwreck descriptions often lacked, or had erratic, punctuation. There were also some probable 'typos'. Where obvious, I occasionally corrected them. Mostly, I reproduced them 'as is'. Of course, I may have made some typos of my own!
If you are interested in a particular vessel or year, the table below may be of help. Otherwise, just follow the links in the left hand column to view the shipwrecks in chronological order - along with other details (where known) such as tonnage, nationality, captain's name, as well as descriptions of cargo, voyage, where built, how wrecked, and so on.
|PAGE||DATE RANGE||NAMES OF VESSELS SHIPWRECKED OR CONDEMNED|
|Falkland Shipwrecks - 1||1813 - 1854||ISABELLA, URANIE, MAGELLAN, NEW BEDSEZ, PIERRE LOVIT or LOUIS, VENTURE, MARY GRAY, DANIEL GRANT, ROBERT FULTON, MARGARET, GRANITE, Unknown, WALDRON, CHANCE, LEVENSIDE, ACTAEON, COURIER, GLAUCUS, GEORGE BUTZ.|
|Falkland Shipwrecks - 2||1855 - 1860||ORTONS, CARLTON, HERALD, CHANCE, BLANCHE, FLYING CLOUD, LORD GEORGE BENTICK, ANTOINETTE, ATLANTA, LEOPOLD, ENGLISH CUTTER, HELEN MILLER, WILLIAM SHAND, RUSSEL, SEA RANGER, HORATIO, COLONSAY, ALEXANDER, CONCORDIA.|
|Falkland Shipwrecks - 3||1861 - 1872||ARMANTINE, GLENBERRIE, ADELINE, SNOWSQUALL, COSMOPOLITE, DENMARK, COQUIMBANA, RIVER DERWENT, PERU, ALTO, JHELUM, VICAR OF BRAY, VAMPYR, GEORGIANA, GRENFELL, LITTLE EDITH, PRINCESS, CITY OF AMOY, EGERIA, LOTUS.|
|Falkland Shipwrecks - 4||1873 - 1883||NEPTUNE, ANNIE BROOKS, SARSGREAL SANGREAL?, MALVINA, FORTUNATO, CRAIGIE LEA, DAVID LAW, G.F. HAENDAL, READY, CHRISTINA, KILMODEN, LEON CRESPO, LADY DUFFERIN, CAPRICORN, STAR OF BRUNSWICK, C.A. BELAYA, AVONA, NIMROD, FELIS, PRAECIS.|
|Falkland Shipwrecks - 5||1884 - 1891||ROTOMAHANA, MENAI STRAITS, PERTHSHIRE, YARRA YARRA, ROVER OF THE SEAS, LUIGRAY, GREAT BRITAIN, LA SANTIAGO, CHARLES COOPER, SYDNEY DACRES, J.P. SNITH II, LEONORA, STAR OF SCOTIA, GENESTA, GEORGINA GRENFELL, FAIRY, FOAM, TUCUTUJU, SABINA, ST. MARY, NAREN, CONCORDIA.|
|Falkland Shipwrecks - 6||1892 - 1903||VISCOUNT, DENNIS BRUNDRITT, BERTHA, ARGYLLSHIRE, IONE, CASTALLIA, AMBASSADOR, CITY OF PHILADELPHIA, MARTA, HADASSAH, DON CARLOS, RESULT, JOHN R. KELLY, ROSA BAKER, GARLAND, P.N. BLANCHARD, THETIS, ALAN GARDINER, ESTRELLA, CLARENCE S. BEMENT.|
|Falkland Shipwrecks - 7||1903 - 1919||FAIR ROSAMOND, SIXTUS, KIRKHILL, PERSERVERANCE, HORNET, CASSARD, FORTUNA, CHANCE, MALVINAS, BADEN POWELL, HELENE BLUM, ZILLAH, LONSDALE, HATTIE L.M., RICHARD WILLIAMS, ORAVIA, LADY ELIZABETH, MAGALLENES, ALUNA.|
|Falkland Shipwrecks - 8||1920 - 1950||MESSENGER, TILTON, EXE, GUVERNOREN, GLEAM, BREEZE, GWENDOLINE, FENNIA, THISTLE, BELLEVILLE, PREFECTO GARCIA, WEDDELL, SHAMROCK, LAFONIA, PORT RICHARD, PALOMA, PORVENIR, FLEETWING, INDIANA, GREBE ROYDUR.|
Reading through the laconic matter-of-fact details of these records, an underlying narrative gradually unfolds. Over the years, a procession of storm-battered vessels (some having survived the savage passage round the 'Horn') seek sanctuary at the Falkland Islands - only to succumb to the weather and the Islands' hostile shores. Many are totally wrecked; some sink with the loss of all hands. Others - leaky and damaged - limp in, or are towed, to safety: later to be condemned, scuttled, or used as pierhead storage hulks. These wooden, or rusty iron, wrecks then contribute to the unique fabric of Port Stanley's visual environment - becoming as much an integral feature of the landscape as the ubiquitous corrugated-iron roofs of the buildings.
Why do the ships risk these inhospitable waters? Because, at the time, the Panama Canal is still an engineer's far off dream; it will not be completed until 1914. The vessels' owners are seeking to turn a profit from the only navigable sea route between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans - with their cargos of guano, coal, logwood, sugar, nitrate, manganese ore, cement, barley, copper ore, iron, copra, hides, silks & wine, gunpowder, and even, in one case, marble statuary.
Certain factors capture the imagination. The peaks - in numbers wrecked - on certain years or even days hint at weather events extreme even for those latitudes. There is mention of mutiny, of another crew who refuse to continue their onward voyage, of Captains lost overboard, and of one who commits suicide. And then, there are the local characters. Who, for instance, was Captain Smyley? "Rescued by Smyley," occurs often in the early years. Not a seagoing philanthropist, I conclude eventually; but - more likely - in it for the salvage. (He certainly got around. Later in the records, there is even a reference to Smyley's Channel.) "Bought by Dean" is another frequent entry. An eccentric collector of wrecks maybe? No. A later entry informs - he was J.M. Dean, Lloyds Agent.
It seems Captain William H Smyley was the Falkland Islands U.S.
Resident Commercial Agent 1850 - 1868.
Smyley Island in the Antartic Ocean was named after him.)
Hopefully, in browsing these records, you will find them as interesting as I did. Feedback is always welcome: link to contact form is on the left.
Acknowledgements: The Falklands Island's flag and crest images are copyright free, and were sourced from Wikipedia. All other images are copyright protected. For more detailed breakdown of population figures see: www.falklands.gov.fk/documents/Census%20Report%202006.pdf