Thursday, April 14, 2016

HMS Looe-- Part 2: Runs Aground

In 1743, Captain Ashby Utting took command.  It was lost in the early morning of 5 February 1744 after having captured a Spanish merchant ship just after midnight when it struck a reef, soon followed by the merchant ship.

The crew had to escape in three small boats and were worried about being captured by a Spanish warship.  The three boats were unable to save the entire crew.  Just as things were looking particularly bleak, they spotted a nearby Spanish sloop and captured it.

The two grounded ships were salvaged of provisions and then set afire.  .  the crew escaped in the small boats and sloop.  The sloop got to Port Royal, South Carolina and two of the boats made it to safety.  Utting was court-martailled, but acquitted.

The key was named after the Looe and the wreck is now part of the Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary.


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