You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Sick lighthouse keeper rescued in biting winds (1962)

News Letter logo News Letter 16/12/2022 Darryl Armitage
© The Maiden's Lighthouse, Co Antrim. Picture: Larne Times archives

Mr John Crowley (26), who had earlier in the week reported sick by radio telephone to Orlock Head coastguard, was landed at Larne and taken straight to Moyle Hospital, where later he was said to be “comfortable”.

Keeper Crowley, who was unmarried, had been stationed on the Maidens Rock for about 18 months. There were two other keepers on watch duty.

When he was taken ill medical advice was sent to him by radio telephone by a Donaghadee doctor.

Later he developed a rash and, as his general symptoms pointed to the possibility of measles, immediate arrangements were made to have him transferred to hospital.

Attempts to take him off by relief boat were out of the question because the Rock had been lashed by mountainous seas.

Meanwhile, Four Rathlin islanders had been marooned for nine days on the mainland.

Because of rough seas there had been no sailings between the island and Ballycastle since December 5, when the men, James McCurdy, his son, Bertie Curry, and Shaun McCouaig had come across to the mainland for weekly provisions.

Contact with the island had been maintained by telephone, but it was understood that supplies, kept for such an emergency, were adequate for the time being.

The main worry was whether those still on the island would be able to get to the mainland to do their Christmas shopping.

Two Moville boatmen, Harry Barr and Arthur McMonigle, had a narrow escape when their motor boat sank in Moville Bay after being washed against the hull of a cargo vessel leaving Lough Foyle. Barr and his companion had put out from Moville to take the Foyle pilot, Mr Maurice O'Donnell, of Londonderry, off the Budesund, which was outward bound with a cargo of seed potatoes. In the rough seas the little boat, the St Bernard, was swept against the side of the ship and several planks sprung.​​​​​​​

© The Maiden's Lighthouse, Co Antrim. Picture: Larne Times archives © The Maiden's Lighthouse, Co Antrim. Picture: Larne Times archives

More from News Letter

News Letter
News Letter
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon