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LIMERICK, Saturday – The Marion Lightbody, a four-masted barque carrying 3,277 tons of wheat for Limerick, safely docked at Limerick on Friday night, concluding a harrowing journey fraught with peril for the vessel and its crew.

The vessel, arriving from Geelong, endured a 102-day passage, arriving in Queenstown before being towed by the tug Hibernia to Limerick. However, the voyage took a dramatic turn off the Blaskets on Christmas Eve morning when both the tug and the barque faced a fierce southerly gale. The tumultuous sea conditions led to the separation of the hawser, leaving the Marion Lightbody at the mercy of the elements.

As the barque surged ahead of the straining tug, Captain Dagnall skilfully navigated the vessel through the raging storm, steering toward Haggle Head and hugging the rock-bound coast of Clare. In a lull in the gale, he managed to bring the ship into Galway Bay, where it had to wait until repairs were completed on the Hibernia, which had sought refuge in Limerick.

The Marion Lightbody was eventually towed to Limerick for docking on Friday night. Despite the intense challenges faced during the journey, the vessel’s crew, under Captain Dagnall’s leadership, performed admirably. The ship’s cargo of wheat, intended for Limerick, remained undamaged despite the turbulent seas encountered.

The master of the barque, Captain Dagnall, recounted the challenging moments, emphasizing the crew’s resilience and the ship’s ability to weather the storm. The Marion Lightbody’s listing due to a cargo shift near the north point was successfully rectified by the skilled navigation of the captain.

Limerick residents and maritime enthusiasts gathered to witness the docking of the Marion Lightbody, commending the crew for their courage and seamanship. Local authorities expressed relief that the vessel, crew, and cargo had all safely reached Limerick.

The incident serves as a testament to the unpredictable nature of maritime journeys and the importance of skilled seamanship in overcoming challenges at sea. As the Marion Lightbody undergoes further assessment and potential repairs in Limerick, the maritime community reflects on the resilience displayed during this eventful voyage.

Dublin Daily Express – Monday 27 January 1913

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