North Co. Donegal Wreck List
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Vessel Type:

38 Gun Frigate

Location:Co. Donegal
Date of Loss:4th December 1811Place:Lough Swilly
Cause of Loss:Ran agroundBoat Dive from:Buncrana or Portsalon
Charted Depth:Irish O.S. Map:Discovery Series No. 2 & 3
Height of Wreck:Admiralty Chart No:2811 and/or 2723
Hull Material:WoodLatitude (approx.):55° 17' 00" North
Type of Seabed:Longitude (approx.):07° 35' 00" West
Average Visibility: Convert Lat. & Long. to -Decimal - CLICK HERE
Image available?Yes - see belowDiving Experience:
Diving Information:
  • Lies off the Swilly rocks, Lough Swilly
  • The wreck is marked on old fathom charts as being at the South end of the bay.
Historical Information:
  • A fifth rate vessel, she was built by Temple & Sons of South Shields in 1809 grossing 951 tons and measured 145 x 39ft.
  • In the company of the sloop of war "H.M.S. Talbot", they had sailed west the previous day, but were caught in a gale. The "Saldahna" is thought to have struck the Swilly rocks.
  • The first indication of the loss was when 200 bodies were washed ashore at Ballymastoker Bay - there were no survivors.
  • The only relic of the wreck was a parrot with a silver collar inscribed "Saldahna".
  • Captain Packenham, brother-in-law of the Duke of Wellington, is buried at Rathmullen.
  • The fate of the "Talbot" is assumed to be that of the "Saldahna".
  • Her commander was the Hon. Captain Willam Pakenham.

H.M.S. Saldahna

© by kind permission of Jim Woods at myirelandpast web site

Source Publications:
"Donegal Shipwrecks"
Ian Wilson
Impact Printing 1998 - ISBN: 094815456X
"Shipwreck Index of Ireland"
Richard & Bridget Larn
Lloyd's Register - Fairplay Ltd 2002 - ISBN: 1900839970
"Shipwrecks of the Irish Coast 1105 - 1993"
Dr. Edward J. Bourke
Edward J. Bourke 1994 - ISBN: 0952302705
"Shipwrecks of the Irish Coast 1582 - 2000"
Dr. Edward J. Bourke
Edward J. Bourke 2000 - ISBN: 0952302721
Other Sources:
Royal Navy
Hydrographic Department (1970)

North Co. Donegal Wreck List

Last update - 05-May-2004

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