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ENGLISI INSURANCE STATISTICS FOR 1860.
We are indebted to the “ British Wreck Chart” of 1860 for the following valuable particulars as to the losses of life and property during the year:
The year 1860 has been almost unprecedented for a continued succession of bad weather; and the number of wrecks and casualties from causes other than collision is, as might be expected, greater than the number recorded during either of the preceding eight years. It is, as will be seen on reference to tables, 146 above the annual average for six years, or 1,081, against 1,067 in 1859. Whilst, however, wrecks and strandings have increased, collisions have decreased, being 298, against 349 in 1859. The whole number of casualties of allkinds, including collisions, is 37 less than the number recorded in 1859, but it is 146 above the annual average for six years.
Although the number of wrecks and strandings has been greater than usual, the loss of life has been less; the number of lives lost in 1860 being under one-third of the number lost in 1859, and 264 under the annual average
for nine years. The numbers for 1859 and 1860 are 1,645 and 536.
The great loss of life during 1859 was mainly attributable to the loss of two or three fine passenger ships, and the decrease in the number of lives lost in 1860 is owing to the absence of the loss of any large ships under similar circumstances. In 1859, 870 lives were lost in two casualties alone, viz., the wrecks of the “Pomona" and the “Royal CHARTER,” whilst in 1860 the greatest number of lives lost in any one casualty was 37, and the next greatest number 31.
It will be seen that the number of casualties to ships of the collier
60 Iron and copper ore,.
93 Stone, &c.,
76 Other laden vessels,. Other vessels in ballast, not colliers,
2,795 This shows that the total number of casualties in the two years is 2,795, and that of this number 1,504, or considerably more than half, happened to ships of the collier class. The result of table p. 581, taken in connection with the result of table, p. 580, shows that the classes of ships to which casualties most frequently happen on our coasts, are those between 50 and 300 tons burthen, employed in carrying coal, coke, ores and stone.
61 376 148 42
623 967 466
81 448 330
Other tables show the whole of the casualties attended with loss of life that have happened on the coasts of the United Kingdom during the last eleven years. The one contains a list of the cases in detail, geographically arranged, according to the place where the casualty happened, and the other is a summary, with the numbers classified according to districts. These tables are this year inserted for the first time.
It has been stated that the greatest number of lives lost from shipwreck are lost on the northeast coast. These tables, however, give the following results:
Total number of
lires lost during
eleven years. Farn Islands to Flamborough Head.....
47 6-11 Flamborough Head to the North Foreland, North Foreland to St. Catharine's Point,..
42 3-11 St. Catharine's Point to Start Point, .
4-11 Start Point to Land's End,.
40 -11 Land's End to Hartland Point, including Scilly,
30 Hartland Point to St, David's Head,..
40 St. David's Head and Carnsore Point to Lambay Island
79 10-11 and Skerries, Anglesa,. Skerries and Lambay to Fair Head and Mull of Cantire,. 1,466
132 1-11 Cape Wrath to Buchan Ness,.
17 10-11 Buchan Ness to Farn Islands,
24 7-11 All other parts of the coast,
76 8-11 Totals........
625 8-11 The experience of the past eleven years shows that the most serious wrecks, resulting in the greatest loss of life, do not happen, as was supposed, on the northeast coast, but in those scas and channels mostly frequented by large foreign-going ships.
A chart, illustrating these returns, and showing the spot where each casualty occurred, and the number of lives lost by it, is added.
Tables distinguishing the casualties according to the force of the wind, show that the greater portion of casualties happen with the force of the wind at and under 8, ("fresh gale,”) or under circumntances in which a ship, if seaworthy and properly manned and found, ought to be well able to keep the sea.
The numbers are as follow: With the force of the wind at and under 8, i. e., from " calm to fresh gale,” 731 ; with the force of the wind from 9 to 12, i. e., from “ a strong gale to a hurricane,” 648.
It has been observed that the wreck returns for late years show that collisions are greatly on the increase, and that, from 1855 to the present time, they have nearly trebled the numbers reported in previous years. It is probable that collisions should have increased with the increased trade and consequent increase in the number of ships frequenting narrow channels; but the sudden increase which the returns seem to show to have taken place since 1854 avimits of a very simple explanation.
It will be seen from our tables, that for the five years ending 1854 the annual average number of collisions reported was 91, whilst for the five years ending 1859 the annual average number reported was 298.
In 1855, the first year of the sudden increase, the wreck register was transferred to the Board of Trade and officers of the customs and coast guard; and receivers of wreck, acting under that Board, were empowered, by act of Parliament, to examine on oath the masters and crews of ships VOL. XLV.-NO. VL.
and other persons able to give information respecting wrecks. These officers are also authorized to reward, if necessary, any person bringing the earliest information of a wreck. From these powers, and from the nature of the employment and the staff at their disposal, they have every opportunity of becoming well acquainted with the nature and circumstances of almost every casualty, and they lose no time in reporting to the Board of Trade.
It is easily understood that the Board of Trade, with its statutory powers and ample means at its disposal, obtains more reports and more accurate information of collisions, which of course happen at sea beyond the immediate cognizance of the coast guard, than it was possible for the Admiralty to obtain under the previous system, when the means available were much less. The great increase is, therefore, in all probability, due to the increased number of reports, rather than to any great increase in the number of collisions.
The Chart contains a list of the life-boats stationed on the coasts of the United Kingdom. It appears from the table that the number at the end of 1860 was 173, against 158 in 1859. The increase in the number of life-boats is as follow:
1858. 1859. 1860. Number of boats under the management of the National Life-Boat Institution,.....
110 Number of boats under other management,.
66 Of the number in existence at the end of the year 1860, 91 are under the management of the National Life-Boat Institution, but are subsidized by the Board of Trade, and five are subsidized by the Board of Trade direct, without the intervention of the institution. Of the remainder, 19 are maintained by the institution and 58 by local bodies.
The mortar and rocket apparatus is maintained in a very effective state : there has been an increase of 17 in the number of stations during the past year; many of the existing stations have been removed, and the apparatus has, in many cases, been renewed and remodeled.
Through the energy and zeal of the officers and men of the coast-guard service, great proficiency has been attained in working the apparatus from the shore. It does, however, sometimes happen, that after a communication is effected, the crew are unable to use it from ignorance of the working of the apparatus, notwithstanding the means taken to make it known by circulation of hand-bills, by inserting the directions in ships' logs, by exercising the apparatus in the presence of merchant seamen, where possible, and by examining masters and mates in its use and application when they are passing for certificates of competency.
The expense of providing and maintaining the life-boats and apparatus for saving life will be seen as annexed.
The sum paid to the Royal National Life-Boat Institution during 1860 is £2,486 13s. 6d. The payments by the Board of Trade direct, for rewards and gratuities, and for services at wrecks, amount to £918 8s. 6d.; and the expenses of maintaining the mortar and rocket apparatus, to £2,456 15s. 8d. ; being a total payment of £5,861 17s. 5d. for saving and endeavoring to save life during the year 1860.
The mortar and rocket apparatus and life-boats cannot be over-rated as means for saving life. The good they have effected will most easily be
seen by a reference to the following table, showing the number of lifeboats, &c., and the number of lives saved during the last six years :
Total to 1860,......
8,205 The number of lives saved during 1860 on or near the coasts of the United Kingdom, of which reports have been received, was 2,152, against 2,332 in 1859. The number saved, with more or less risk, by assistance from the shore during 1860, was 1,383, or nearly-two-thirds of the whole number saved. The life-boats saved 326 lives, being greatly in excess of the number saved by life-boats during the two previous years; and the mortar and rocket apparatus saved 408 lives. The remainder (viz., 635) were saved by fishing boats, smacks, &c., at sea, and 14 by individual exertions of a meritorious character.
Charts, showing the wrecks and casualties for the year 1860, the wrecks and strandings involving loss of life during the last eleven years, and the collisions involving loss of life during the same period, are appended.
I. British Wrecks and Casualties for Five Years.
NUMBER OF WRECKS AND CASUALTIES IN Months in which Casualties happened. 1856. 1857. 1858. 1859. 1860. January,
149 281 124 115 206 February,
64 116 139 137 March, 96 166 148 136
32 187 June,
99 135 148 343 166 November,
94 120 170 164 December,
86 136 156 126
II. Statement of the number of Lives lost on the coast of the United Kingdom during
the Eleven Years ended December, 1860.
466 1851, 277 | 1856,
297 1852, 838 1857,
439 Total,..... 6,888 1853, 842 1858,
243 1864, 834 | 1859,..
1,665 | Annual average,.. 626
III. Number of Lives Saved from Shipwreck on the Coast of the United Kingdom
during the Years 1856, 1857, 1858, 1859 and 1860. 1856, 2,243 | 1858,. 1,555 | 1860,....
3,697 1857, 1,668 | 1859,
IV. Wrecks and Casualties, distinguishing the Ships and Cargoes Insured and Uninsured, and the amount of Insurance, where known.
1856. 1857. 1858. 1859. 1860. No. of vessels reported to be insured, 484 599 476 554 514 Amount of insurance,..
£ 451,513 £388,904 £ 587,772 £ 463,005 No. of cargoes reported to be insured, 110 84
57 Amount of insurance,..
£21,622 £ 25,413 £ 101,212 £21,274 Total amount of insurance,
473,135 414,317 688,984 484,279 No. of vessels reported as not insured, 179 179 232 316 280 cargoes
264 118 152 173 145 No. of vessels, whether insured or not, unknown,..
490 365 462 546 685 No. of cargoes, whether insured or not, unknown,..
923 893 Ships in ballast,
191 233 284 Total,...
1,153 1,143 1,170 1,416 1,379 Estd No. of ships lost or damaged,..
507 576 860 817 Amount of insurance,.
:: £ 393,859 £ 343,117 € 628,261 £ 608,764 No. of cargoes lost or damaged,
169 228 294 258 Amount of insurance,.
£ 125,442 £ 92,648 £ 221,860 £ 94,311 Total estimated loss as reported...
519,301 435,656 750,121 603,065
V. British Wrecks and Casualties, distinguishing the Description and Tonnage of the
Ships. Description of Ships.
1856. 1857. 1858, 1859. 1860. Steamships,
110 Billy boys,
99 Chasse maree,
i 1960: :
1,416 .. 1,379