Gower Shipwreck - SS Agnes Jack

Name: SS Agnes Jack
Nationality: British
Location: Port Eynon Point
Date of Wreck: 27/01/1883
Cargo: Lead Ore
Visible Remains: Grave at St Cattwg's Church, Port Eynon

A little after half four on the morning of 27th January 1883, the Agnes Jack found herself in the teeth of a gale that had been blowing for the last two days. As conditions steadily worsened she lost her way and struck rocks off Port Eynon Point. With the sea running high and rough there was no chance of self rescue so the crew were forced to hang on for dear life as the ship started to disintegrate around them. An hour later farm workers leaving for work heard their desperate shouts and quickly raised the alarm. First light revealed that the Agnes Jack had already slipped beneath the waves leaving eight men clinging perilously to her mast. Rocket crews were quickly on the scene from both Rhossili and Oxwich but the range proved too great for their lines. A last ditch attempt was made as the tide began to fall, but it was too late. The eight men had already lost their battle and no more shouts were heard.

The wreck shocked those that lived and worked on Gower and a call was immediately made to have a lifeboat permanently stationed at Port Eynon. The RNLI were in agreement and in 1884 a new station was formed.

Some of the victims were returned to their own home towns for burial, but several others were laid to rest in a quiet corner of St Cattwg's Church. Today a large gravestone marks where they lie and carries the following powerful, chilling verse:

"Oh had there been a lifeboat there
To breast the stormy main
These souls would not have perished thus
Imploring help in vain"

11722 - SS Agnes Jack Grave, Port Eynon