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H. M. S. DOTEREL, blown up at Punta Arenas, 26 April 1881
Report of "The Illustrated London News", 14 May 1881[?]

HMS Doterel
"H.M.S. Doterel, lately blown up in the Strait of Magellan"

The terrible disaster of the 26th ult., at Sandy Point, in the Strait of Magellan, where this vessel, on her way to join the British squadron in the Pacific, was blown up by some accidental means hitherto unknown, with the loss of 145 lives, was announced in our last publication. No further intelligence, beyond that which we gave, with the names of the surviving four officers and seven seamen, had reached England on Wednesday last. It was fancied by some persons that the accident might have been caused by a torpedo which was dropped in the water thereabouts, two or three years ago, from H.M.S. Shah; but the Secretary to the Admiralty, in the House of Commons on Friday, stated that this torpedo had been safely recovered. It has been resolved to send two vessels to the Strait of Magellan, to assist in the diving operations. The Queen has addressed to the First Lord of the Admiralty a letter expressing her pity and sympathy for the widows and orphans of the men who were killed.

We give an Illustration of the unfortunate vessel, from a drawing made by Messrs. Symonds and Co., photographers, of Portsmouth, when she was fitted out in that port. The Doterel was a composite screw sloop of war, of 1124 tons burden, with engines of 900-horse power, carrying six guns, and having a crew of about 140 men. She was launched at Chatham in March, 1880, was commissioned in December, and left Sheerness on Jan. 17, under the command of Commander Richard Evans. Her other officers were Lieutenants William C. Forrest, Arthur R. M. Creagle, and John M. Stokes; Staff-Surgeon Septimus Evans; Paymaster John N. Colborne; chief engineer William Read, engineer W. Ord, gunner Jeremiah Driscoll, carpenter W. B. Baird, clerk C. M. Irving. It appears that Commander Evans, who is one of those who escaped death, has left the wreck in charge of Lieut. Stokes.

Thanks: Maria Rose
Updated: 22-II-2005