Unsinkable, they said.
That’s how they rolled.
Sibling of Daedalus writes:
It was the biggest ship of its time, and ‘the safest ever built’, the clipper ship, The Tayleur, owned by the White Star Line, which ran aground off a reef on the east coast of Lambay, Dublin, in 1854.
Like the the Titanic, The Tayleur was on its maiden voyage, but there was no iceberg (the new-fangled iron hull had distorted the compasses), and certainly no policy of women and children first; out of its shipload of Irish emigrants bound for the Australian Gold Rush, only 3 women (out of 250) and 3 children (out of 50) survived.
Among them was a baby, tied to a bed-tick, found still alive among the wreckage washed up on Portmarnock Strand the following day.
Known as ‘The Ocean Wonder’ he was adopted by a woman who had lost her baby in the disaster.
Not all survivors were so lucky. Many North Dublin coastal inhabitants of the time made a healthy living from wreckage, and contemporary accounts record some of them as more interested in cutting diamond-ringed fingers off the bodies of the dead than helping the living.
The ship’s African cook fared particularly badly with locals who, reputedly unfamiliar with non-Europeans, refused to help him on account of his skin colour…
Pic via Newton Les Wilows