Wednesday, May 27, 2009

HAIRYMAN, Ann Harvey and the wreck of the Dispatch


HAIRY MAN is perhaps an unimaginative name for a noble dog but this Newfoundland and his 17 year old mistress, Ann Harvey were responsible for saving the lives of 163 Irish immigrants from the wreck of the Brig Dispatch in 1828. When fishing with her fathernear the Isle aux Morts, Newfoundland, Ann noticed flotsom on the water and realized a ship had been wrecked nearby.
They immediatley set off with their Newfoundland dog, HAIRYMAN and soon found a group of survivors huddled together on a tiny island later known as Wreck Rock. Already some unlucky passengers from the SS Dispatch had drowned or died from exhaustion.
Unable to get close enough to the island because of the heavy seas, they threw a billet of wood to which the survivors attached a rope.
George then instructed the Newfoundland to swim out to retrieve it. By this means all the passengers were taken off the rocky outcrop.
Some survivors died on the rock and ten more expired on land after their dramatic rescue.
The crashing waves swept babies from their mother's arms. But over a three-day period more than 180 people were saved by Ann, George and their brave Newfoundland.

Pic: Courtesy of Newflands, NZ [newflands@ihug.co.nz]
Photo: Unicorn Images NZ

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