Irish Wrecks Database

Shipwrecks around Ireland and this Database

The authors Roy Stokes and Liam Dowling have continued to add new shipwrecks, Geo Map Search, (provided by Google) video footage, photographs, seabed and anomalies and provide details on 15,000+ entries from around the coast of Ireland. The data is compiled under a number of field headings and successful searches can be completed with only the minimum of information available. When available, detailed results will also include photographs of the ship before and after being wrecked and any available underwater pictures and video clips.


Space does not allow us to list all of the sources referenced for the compilation of this database. The complete list can however be viewed within the database itself (Reference Database).  However, it may be helpful to outline just a few of the primary and more important sources here, and to express our sincere thanks for access to these and to congratulate on the fine work that has been painstakingly spent in their compilation over many years.

Lloyds List (LL), Lloyd’s Registers of Shipping(LRS), Shipwrecks of the Irish Coast(SOTIC) (4 Vols.) by E. Bourke, Shipwreck Index of Ireland (SII) by Bridget Teresa & Richard Larne, Shipwreck Inventory of Ireland(SII) by Karl Brady of the Deptartment of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government of Ireland.

There may be images in this database that are inaccurately attributed, or where there were no credible details of an author available. The authors apologise for this, and would be grateful if the original photographer or artist would make contact, in order that we may properly accredit the image, or to have it removed.

What makes this database somewhat different from others that are available online, is the unique reference made to the records of fishermen, divers and local folklore. To these we owe a considerable debt of gratitude. There is also a considerable input made by the authors’ personal research, both on land and underwater.


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Heading:Comment on Wreck Statistics from 1863
French Statistics of Wrecks Compiled by the Bureau Integritas 1863
Mercantile Gazette, Friday, January 15, 1864.
[The above publication reported on a lengthy document produced by the “Bureau Integritas” that had given a detailed account on the causes of shipwrecks over a number of years. The Bureau also owned up to its own inadequacy in the matter of recording details of incidents, injury or loss to maritime commerce, when compared to the excellent record of the UK.] The forgoing is paraphrased.
It could be deduced from the figures published, that the losses and damage were escalating through the range, almost annually, at the critical period when sail was giving way to steam. It was also a period of burgeoning industrial traffic and migration, and the American Civil War probably added to the increased volumes.
The costly maintenance of sailing vessels was a temptation to which some owners succumbed, choosing to ignore or ‘long finger’ the obvious dangers. Not unlike today, extreme weather events took their toll – always.
1863 was considered to be ‘one of the most lamentable for Maritime Assurers’ and from the figures presented in the article, it was also considered that ‘1863 was one of the most disastrous years on record’. The conclusions also stated; All calculations of probabilities were baffled in 1775 by the hurricane of November 11,[Note 1.] in 1821 the hurricane of December 21, in 1836 by that of November 27, and 1863 by that of December 2.’
Note 1 - There had in fact been a series of hurricanes during the latter half of 1775, the worst been described as the ‘Independence’ or ‘Newfoundland Hurricane’.

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