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mv Killurin


The rescued crew members in hospital - picture Evening Post

Shortly after 5.30 am on 7 February 1950 the cargo ship Killurin ran on to the Sillette reef, less than a mile South East of Noirmont Point. This article was written by Mark Pulley

The hull of the Killurin was ripped apart and, once she came off the rocks she sank almost immediately, killing three of her nine crew.

The 565-ton coaster - owned by H J Wilson, of London and Wexford - was almost at the end of her journey from Grimsby to St Helier with 8,812 bags of basic slag.

Lifeboat arrives

The St Helier pilot boat sent out an immediate distress signal, and within 20 minutes the lifeboat Elizabeth Rippon was on the scene. Coxswain Sylva Le Riche skillfully brought the lifeboat alongside the sinking wreck. As the decks became awash, Le Riche plucked a sailor from the rising waters.

Three more crew were rescued from an upturned ship's boat, making a total of four saved by the lifeboat.

The fishing boat Lucky Bird, owned by H Goldsmith and R Viney, had seen the Killurin heading east from Corbiere, but well off course leaving Les Fours to her port side.

Realising immediate danger they stopped fishing and raced towards the coaster before the accident.

On arriving at the scene they picked up three men clinging to an upturned boat, as they had responded quickly the men had only been in the water 15 minutes and were in good health.

One rescued crew member later told how a torch he shone had helped guide the rescue boats, and save their lives.

Casualties were landed on the Albert Pier and taken to hospital. One crew member later died. Two bodies were recovered from the sea.

Five of the six survivors were soon released from hospital and cared for by the accommodation of the Weighbridge cafe, with clothing and boots supplied by Noel and Porter, and Bissons of New Street, funded by Lester Le Sueur of the Merchant Navy Benevolent Fund.

The Captain of the Killurin, Cleo Kirwan, born on 24 September 1903, and from Dublin, his boson Nicholas Murphy, along with crew member William Baines were those who lost their lives.

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