|The EXCEL was a small
auxiliary ketch which, with Captain John Ballance in command, on the
date of her loss was carrying a cargo of coal from Birkenhead to
Holyhead. She had a single direct acting vertical four cylinder
engine, and single deck and two masts.
As she got near to Carmel Head,
the extreme North West corner of Anglesey, and with only an hour to go
before she expected to reach port, a heavy South Westerly gale
developed and the seas started to break over her. The engine room
began to fill with water but fortunately her plight was seen from the
shore and a message was sent to the Lifeboat Station at Moelfre.
When she started to ship water,
the captain decided to run for Moelfre. The engine room was soon
completely flooded and the bulwarks were disappearing one by one. Then
the main gaff came crashing down onto the deck and the ketch was
completely out of control. There was nothing the Captain could do but
wait for help.
It was seven miles to the West of
Point Lynas that the Moelfre lifeboat, the CHARLES AND ELIZA LAURA,
eventually found the EXCEL. It was only by grounding the bows of the
lifeboat on the deck of the EXCEL that they were able to rescue the
three crew members. But the lifeboat was severely damaged and, during
the several hours before the disabled lifeboat was spotted, one crew
member lost his life, as did a crew member of the EXCEL.