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Tidal Currents in the Irish Channel (between N. Ireland, the Isle of Man & Scotland)

Information on the force of Tidal Currents in the Irish Channel

Background: People who read other forums on this useful website will have noticed that I have been researching the last voyage of the SS CAMLOUGH (169 ft long coaster, built in 1920, wrecked/stranded in January of 1932).

She set out on 12th January 1932, travelling light in ballast from her home port of Belfast, heading to Birkenhead, where she was meant to pick up a load of coal.

Engine problems occurred after she had rounded the Calf of Man and was heading towards Birkenhead (she was about 15 miles from the Isle of Man at this point). Repairs could not restore full power to the engine - so acting on advice from the Chief Engineer, the Captain decided to abandon their projected route, and retrace their course back to Belfast.

The SS CAMLOUGH

During 10 hours' travel overnight in increasingly atrocious weather conditions, the ship made reasonable progress, travelling back around the Calf of Man and heading on course NW towards Belfast. However at 7AM on the 13th of January, the boiler failed (two of the three crowns fell, which suggests that there had been inadequate pumping of water to the boiler at some time(s) during the night).

So from 7am on the Morning of 12th January, the SS CAMLOUGH was completely without any motive power.

* She was tossed about by the wind (gusting up to 75 mph) and by the sea currents in the Irish Channel ('driven back' according to the crew's statement) for nearly 5 hours.

* After this time, another somewhat larger steam coaster came to her assistance and attempted for the rest of the day and into the night to take the CAMLOUGH into tow (presumably with the initial goal of getting her back to Belfast). However the sea was so rough that 7 hawsers which were laboriously secured each snapped - so no consistent, sustained towing took place.

* CAMLOUGH ended up by 8 pm perilously close to the rocks at the Mull of Galloway.

* About an hour later the final hawser held, and the CAMLOUGH was towed laboriouslly into the relative shelter of Luce Bay.

* However the CAMLOUGH not be kept under tow and ended up stranded on the beach at Monreith by 4 AM in the wee hours of 14th January

I've been able to confirm that the wind would have been in a North Easterly direction throughout the time that CAMLOUGH was in peril without any power (7 AM on the 13th through 4 AM on the 14th of January).

I'm currently waiting for some further detail on the weather during this time period.


However, I would be very grateful for some first-hand knowledge of the Tidal currents which usually happen in this part of the Irish Channel - and how they might have interacted with very strong winds blowing in a North Easterly direction.



I've seen a chart which indicates that some very strong currents flow in these waters (see attached).

I know the following approximate times for tides on those days:

13th January

Low Tide: around 8 a.m.

High Tide: around 2 p.m.

Low Tide: around 8.45 p.m. at the Mull of Galloway


Any help in understanding tides in this part of the Irish Channel would be MOST appreciated!
 

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I use a Tidal planner available from the Apps Store online. It not only gives tidal predictions but also tidal currents and directions at times during the tides cycle.
You access the info via using the nearest harbour.
Davie
 

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Information on the force of Tidal Currents in the Irish Channel

Background: People who read other forums on this useful website will have noticed that I have been researching the last voyage of the SS CAMLOUGH (169 ft long coaster, built in 1920, wrecked/stranded in January of 1932).

She set out on 12th January 1932, travelling light in ballast from her home port of Belfast, heading to Birkenhead, where she was meant to pick up a load of coal.

Engine problems occurred after she had rounded the Calf of Man and was heading towards Birkenhead (she was about 15 miles from the Isle of Man at this point). Repairs could not restore full power to the engine - so acting on advice from the Chief Engineer, the Captain decided to abandon their projected route, and retrace their course back to Belfast.

The SS CAMLOUGH

During 10 hours' travel overnight in increasingly atrocious weather conditions, the ship made reasonable progress, travelling back around the Calf of Man and heading on course NW towards Belfast. However at 7AM on the 13th of January, the boiler failed (two of the three crowns fell, which suggests that there had been inadequate pumping of water to the boiler at some time(s) during the night).

So from 7am on the Morning of 12th January, the SS CAMLOUGH was completely without any motive power.

* She was tossed about by the wind (gusting up to 75 mph) and by the sea currents in the Irish Channel ('driven back' according to the crew's statement) for nearly 5 hours.

* After this time, another somewhat larger steam coaster came to her assistance and attempted for the rest of the day and into the night to take the CAMLOUGH into tow (presumably with the initial goal of getting her back to Belfast). However the sea was so rough that 7 hawsers which were laboriously secured each snapped - so no consistent, sustained towing took place.

* CAMLOUGH ended up by 8 pm perilously close to the rocks at the Mull of Galloway.

* About an hour later the final hawser held, and the CAMLOUGH was towed laboriouslly into the relative shelter of Luce Bay.

* However the CAMLOUGH not be kept under tow and ended up stranded on the beach at Monreith by 4 AM in the wee hours of 14th January

I've been able to confirm that the wind would have been in a North Easterly direction throughout the time that CAMLOUGH was in peril without any power (7 AM on the 13th through 4 AM on the 14th of January).

I'm currently waiting for some further detail on the weather during this time period.


However, I would be very grateful for some first-hand knowledge of the Tidal currents which usually happen in this part of the Irish Channel - and how they might have interacted with very strong winds blowing in a North Easterly direction.



I've seen a chart which indicates that some very strong currents flow in these waters (see attached).

I know the following approximate times for tides on those days:

13th January

Low Tide: around 8 a.m.

High Tide: around 2 p.m.

Low Tide: around 8.45 p.m. at the Mull of Galloway


Any help in understanding tides in this part of the Irish Channel would be MOST appreciated!
The Admiralty Tidal Stream Atlas Irish Sea NP 256 (14 pages) will show you hourly tidal streams in the Irish Sea. Available from Amazon for around £14.00

Howard
 
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