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Criccieth – The wreck of the DANUBE and the American Turkey. On the evening of 5th March 1861 the people of Criccieth espied a large sailing ship aground on St Patrick’s Causeway, a dangerous spit of boulders that extends from Mochras Point into the bay. At daybreak the lifeboat was launched and sailed to the wreck which turned out to be the DANUBE, bound from the United States to Liverpool with a cargo of 2,700 bales of cotton. There was a tremendous gale blowing but the crew were rescued, except for one who drowned. Most of the cargo was later salvaged but some bales drifted ashore. THE TURKEY. North Wales Chronicle 16th March 1861. “A comical occurence, which happened since the wreck, was related to our reporter by a gentleman connected with Portmadoc, but although we are inclined to believe that there is some truth in it, we cannot give it as a positive fact. On Saturday last (it was said) a curious looking something was seen drifting from the wreck towards the beach at Morfa Bychan. The wind was blowing at the time right on the shore, and the waves were tolerably heavy ones. The "something" was seen rapidly approaching the beach, riding gracefully over the waves, and when it came within a few hundred yards, it was found to be a bale of cotton with an American Turkey riding on the top of it! Of course this discovery was the source of much amusement, and the dexterous manner in
which the turkey was stated to have balanced himself on the bale when ascending and descending a wave, was the admiration of all beholders. When his turkeyship safely landed (which he did), he was taken into custody by one of the onlookers, and is now doing well in one of the cottages at Morfa Bychan. We have given this " sea-side story " as our reporter received it; but whether it be all true, or merely a tale founded on fact, we cannot undertake to say”. A very detailed report of the shipwreck can be found on the Welsh Wreck Web Research Project website

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