ON TUESDAY 13 JANUARY 1925 SS CARDIFF HALL was battling her way, in a severe SE'ly storm, towards Cork Harbour. In general the weather for the past week had been rough with high sea and swell. The Aquitania had encountered an 80 foot wave some days earlier.
The Cardiff Hall was about 3,500 registered tons and had a cargo of 6000 tons of Maize from Argentina. The cargo was consigned to R H Hall in Cork.
The vessel lost power, or the ability to make way in the unprecedented storm, and started to drift towards the shore, driven before the southerly winds. She drifted towards Seven Heads and the rocky area near Trevara Bay, where she struck Shoonta rock. The vessel, 350 feet in length, broke her back and disappeared in about 15 minutes. The crew of 29, mostly Welsh and some Lascars were all lost. The wreckage and its cargo were strewn over the area. The maize was thrown in quantity to the top of 150 foot cliffs, and a two ton section of the hull landed on a ledge some 40 feet above sea level, where it remains visible to this day.
The Captain, David J Bowen was washed ashore and also a Lascar seaman. They were the only bodies recovered.
The vessel had a triple expansion engine of about 300 HP and a speed of 9 knots. Recently the ship's anchor was recovered from the sea and is now a memorial exhibit in the village of Butlerstown, where the tragedy is known as The Night of the Cardiff Hall.
JOHN N JORDAN
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