On the Rocks: Shipwrecks of Nova Scotia - Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, Halifax, Nova Scotia

Marine Heritage Database

HMS Atalante - 1813

Ship Type

Typical Profile

Tonnage

399

Length(ft)

107

Breadth(ft)

29' 11"

Depth(ft)

14' 8"

Masts

3

Decks

1

Hull

Wood

Shipwreck Details

Description

She was one of six ship sloops of the Bermuda class. Although rigged as a full rigged ship, she was rated as a "sloop", a naval rating for a small square rigged warship, not large enough to rate a commissioned commander.

Story

ATALANTE was headed for Halifax, returning from a patrol with dispatches. In heavy fog, despite extra lookouts and reduced sail , she struck the dreaded Blind Sisters ledge near Sambro Island early in the morning. Her bottom was ripped away in seconds and she heeled over, breaking in two. Thanks to a decisive captain and a very discplined crew, all of the 79 men and one woman aboard managed to safely leave the wreck, although there were some narrow escapes and tricky rescues. One clerk refused to leave without taking the chronometre and one sailor would not part with his fiddle! They managed to safely locate Portuguese Cove, one of the few safe landing points along the very dangerous coastline. Guided into the cove by local fishermen, they all landed safely ashore in the afternoon. After they were fed, warmed and dried by the villagers in the cove, they marched overland into Halifax. ATALANTE's captain, Frederick Hickey was acquitted of any blame for the sinking and was praised for his calm and courageous action. The survival of his entire crew without assistance makes a remarkable contrast to the loss of HMS TRIBUNE a few years previously where a stubborn captain and reckless officers doomed almost everyone aboard despite ample offers of outside rescue assistance.

Vessel Type

Ship, Sloop, 18 guns

Type of Event

Loss

Nature of Event

Wrecked

Cause of Event

Unknown

Date of Wreck

1813-11-10

Location

Sambro, The Sisters

Cargo

Lives Lost

Voyage from

Blockade Duty

Voyage to

Halifax

Remarks

Ship Construction

Built at

1808

Date

Registered at

United Kingdom

Date

Propulsion

Sail

Rig

Ship

Details

Fifth Rate. Hull built of Bermudan cedar.

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Maritime Museum of the Atlantic

Original Data Design by Katherine Riordan, Computers for People

This Web Site is dedicated to the memory of Terry Shaw

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Comments to: Maritime Museum of the Atlanic      / Last updated on 2007-10-05

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