HMS 'Pique' off Point Forteau, 23 September 1835 by John Christian Schetky

HMS 'Pique' off Point Forteau, 23 September 1835

John Christian Schetky

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HMS 'Pique' off Point Forteau, 23 September 1835

This painting is one of a series of four in the same frame, recoding an incident involving HMS 'Pique' when she went aground on rocks at Point Forteau, at the Straits of Belle Isle, whilst patrolling off Labrador. Although land was very close by it was not discernible because of the thick fog. This image shows her very close to the rocks, forging over the reef after struggling for 11 hours. As soon as she struck the rocks the ship's boats were launched to investigate the damage, and three anchors were got out astern. These boats can be seen in the painting. Having jettisoned all her guns and 100 tons of fresh water she was able to lift off in the next tide, although her bottom was somewhat damaged. Several days later she was again caught in a gale and strong seas struck the rudder, already weakened by the first incident, and tore it from the stern post. The ship was therefore steered for 1400 miles without a rudder and was able to return to England in October 1835. Her captain, Hon Captain Rous, was tried at Court Martial at Portsmouth Harbour in October 1835, but found not guilty of the damage of the ship.
John Christian Schetky

  • Image reference: BHC2255

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