The Log of HMS Mallard


HMS Mallard was the Royal Navy gunboat patrolling the Newfoundland coast in the mid-1880s to enforce fishing treaties between the English and French. She sailed out of St John's harbour on August 28th 1884 on a northeasterly course which would take her to the coast of Labrador. The next day, at around 10.30 in the morning, in the mouth of Trinity Bay, the lookout sighted ''a brig to the southwest', apparently derelict. On approaching, the Navy ship found her to be the Resolven, of Wales.

She was deserted, with her boats gone and some damage to her bowsprit and other headgear. However she was still afloat and there were no signs of struggle, apart from some minor damage to the ship where the boat had obviously been launched in a hurry.

The Mallard got a cable around Resolven and towed her into Catalina, a harbour on the nearby Trinity coast, and cast her off. The Captain made his report to the harbour authorities and sailed on.

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HMS Foxhound, 1877. HMS Mallard would have been a very similar ship of the same class. She was a sailing ship with auxiliary steam engines.