The sinking 200 years ago of the Sea Horse off the coast of Co Waterford, in which 363 men, women and children perished, remains one of Ireland’s worst maritime disasters. Video: James Hearne
The sinking 200 years ago of the Sea Horse off the coast of Co Waterford, in which 363 men, women and children perished, will be commemorated on Saturday.
In 1816, the transport ship was bringing 260 soldiers home from the Napoleonic wars when it foundered in a storm and sank in Tramore Bay, killing all on board but 30 survivors. It remains one of Ireland’s worst maritime disasters.
Two other ships, the Boadicea and the Lord Melville, which were also travelling from Ramsgate in the UK to Cork, also succumbed to the weather and sank off Kinsale. Some 190 men, women and children died on theBoadicea, while 13 died on on the Lord Melville.
Seventeen sailors on the Sea Horse died, along with about 80 women and children who had accompanied the men to war in France.
Two hundred years later, their lives will be commemorated by the community of Tramore, many of whom are descendants of those who attempted to rescue them. In the two centuries since the disaster many stories have emerged, including that Waterford Crystal’s seahorse logo was inspired by the ship’s name.
Services will begin with mass, celebrated by Bishop Alphonsus Cullinan, in the Holy Cross Church and followed by a wreath laying ceremony at Christ Church.
Later another wreath will be laid at sea during a dedication in Tramore Bay and marked with a minute’s silence. Descendants of both those who perished and survived the disaster will attend.