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Thomas Scarrow's Fatal Voyage on Invincible

Thomas Scarrow, master of Invincible lost his life on Sept 21st 1871. Below is a transcription from the official Log of the Invincible. This account was originally written by mate P. Renouf, and describes the leg from Portland Roads to Liverpool.

Thursday Sept 21st, 1871, Lat 55-50 South, Long 104-49-30 West, PM Strong breezes attended with very heavy squalls at times from the North West with thick cloudy weather and tremendous sea and running wind gradually increased to violent gale, barometer 28.71 (972mb). Ship hove to on port tack, Mizzen Stays set as our best Main Topsail was split in pieces. Ship taking great quantities of water on deck. When about 2pm, Captain T Scarrow, now deceased, not liking the appearance of the weather and every sign of a lower bar ordered a Weather Cloth to be put on the Mizzen Rigging to keep the ship's head to the sea, as much as possible and in readiness if the stay sail came away, but it scarcely got secured when a most terrific gust of wind blew the Staysail all in ribbons. Our Spanker was also split in pieces and the sea was breaking right overhaul, so we had nothing to depend upon but the cloth in the Mizzen Rigging. Pumps regularly attended.
4pm A heavy sea struck the ship on the bow carrying away Jib Guys, Forestays, snapping the bolts in the Deadeyes, got tackles up and secured them the best we could owing to the heavy seas that was coming over forward. Stove in cook house injuring cook slightly, washing away many of his utensils, the sea making clean sweeps fore and aft the ship with such tremendous body of water on deck, which made it very difficult to get about deck, continually washing the men off their feet.
7pm Very thick weather with a tremendous sea still running and heavy blasts of wind at times, starboard watch being on deck and in the poops Companion out of the weather. Cap T Scarrow had just come upon deck to relieve me, Mr P Renouf Chief Mate. Mr G Morgan 2nd Mate down at supper. The Captain Thomas said to me you had better to below for you have had but little rest lately for I think we shall have a very dirty night of it. I will stay on deck till 8 o'clock with the 2nd Mate as the weather looks so unsettled - I then left the Captain and was in the act of descending the companion ladder when a terrible sea struck the ship on the port quarter as far as the wair__ and clearing the Poop of Skylights, Companion, Hencoop, Sidelight Scrum, Binnacle, Lifebuoy, smashing Wheel Brats from skedds, 14 Stanchions of Poop and Main Rail with Bulwarks clean off to the Covering Board, Started____ House , broke boats and skids, the boat unrepairable the other completely gone so we are left without boats of any description.
  Several bruises amongst the crew. One man Peter Ullstand, AB, got his right leg fractured while at the wheel when the sea struck the ship and which I am sorry to say must have washed Captain Scarrow over the sea rail for he was never heard or seen of after. It took both Skylights and Companion clean off the deck, filled the cabin with water, smashed Barometers, Compasses, Starboard Sidelight, damaged stores etc etc.
  It was with great difficulty I, Mr P Renouf, could get on deck for the immense body of water pouring down the Companion and hatches and everything in such confusion, but when I did I looked around , called for the Captain, but could not see nor hear him. I then order as quick as possible for the safety of the ship and crew to get some sails up from below and nail over the Hatchways - which was time of a very few minutes to keep as much water from below as possible as great quantities were continually coming over washing the men about. As soon as this done, sent the Carpenter round to see if the Covering boards where all right where the Stanchions had gone. Sounded the pumps found 18 inches of water in the well - Pumped ship. Sounded again found her making very little more than usual. A very heavy sea still running with hard squalls.
  I cannot help but express the activity of the men considering the position we in for I must say it is and was a very awkward position having no boats if anything more had happened to the ship. I made search for the Captain for I thought he might have got washed amongst the lumber about deck, but he could not be found so I conclude he was washed off the Poop whilst the ship lie battered in the sea, for I left him standing holding onto a lifeline under the weather cloth after what had been put there to shelter the man at the wheel during the heavy weather we had previously encountered.
  I searched rather singular but soon after this accident it gradually began to moderate with a rising bar and much less sea.
  Middle and latter point passing squalls and high sea. We the crew of above named ship "Invincible" have heard this statement read over and find it correct.

The table below shows the list of the crew of Invincible, who all countersigned the log entries made by Ph. Renouf.

Ph Renouf 1st Mate   W Sparman Seaman
G Morgan 2nd Mate   Charles Tag Seaman
Thomas Jackson Carpenter   James Loud
J Wallace Steward   Peter Britts
Charles Regstone Cook   Robin Jones
Peter Seaman   Michael Marlow
John Anderson Seaman   William D Clark
John Lambourn Seaman   Charles Scott
H.Bowman Seaman   Fredrick Couch Apprentice