Diving on Scilly
Being in the western aproaches, the Isles of Scilly are littered with shipwrecks from throughout maritime history. Although there are many steel and iron wrecks to be found in the sea around these islands, especially interesting are the, so called, old time wrecks. These, old time, or historic shipwrecks are in abundance, with many new ones coming to light almost every year. The most recent important discoveries being made in the area being the stern of HMS Colossus, sank in 1798, discovered in 1999 by shipwreck hunter and author Todd Stevens; and the Nancy Packet, sank in 1784, discovered in 2007 by Todd Stevens & Edward Cumming.
who took to the ships Jolly boat to escape the wreck; one was the lover
of Captain Haldane; infamous actress and opera singer Ann Cargill. All
but one person drowned in this disaster, including Ann who was cradling
her illigitimate child in her arms at the time.
bodies of Ann and her child were found floating in teir night clothes with
Ann still clutching the baby tightly to her bosom. It was written at the
time that: “The maternal instinct had not yet yielded even unto
death itself”. The story goes that Ann sang to her child until
the moment their boat turned over drowning them both.
One of the Nancy's 6 pound guns
Ann Cargill was an extremely famous figure in her time, as a result, the tale of this melancholy tragedy struck a nerve with the public and the press.
Only seventeen of fourty nine bodies recovered from the wreck and these were immediately buried on the uninhabited island of Rosevear. However, as it was later found that Ann was such a high profile figure, her body was exhumed to be re-interred on St Mary’s Island. Her remains currently lie in an unknown position in Old Town Churchyard.
Ever since the wreck occurred, Rosevear Island is said to have been haunted by a woman singing a lullaby; bore out by records of the experiences of the workmen who built the Bishop Rock Lighthouse.
construction; more shipwreck tales will follow.