THROUGH THE ARCHIVES: Boys picked up by steamer after being adrift in Belfast Lough

From the News Letter, February 10, 1925

Wednesday, 10th February 2021, 6:00 am

Three Belfast boys had had a sensational experience during the weekend past on Belfast Lough, reported the News Letter, after they were rescued by a steamer.

The News Letter named the boys as William McMullen, aged 14, George Neill, aged 12, and Samuel Burns, aged 11, who all lived at Mashoma Street in Belfast.

The paper told how the boys had gone to Holywood on the Saturday afternoon and loaned a rowing boat from Mr Hugh Shannon of Kinnegar.

Three Belfast boys had had a sensational experience during the weekend on Belfast Lough in 1925 reported the News Letter. At about half past one on Sunday morning the rowing boat was spotted of Kilroot by the crew of the SS Glen Maroon which belonged to Messrs John Kelly Ltd. Picture: Pacemaker

The correspondent noted that “the tide was rising, and the boat, getting beyond the control of the three boys drifted out into the lough. Seeing the shore receding at an alarming pace and with darkness setting in the three became very worried and began to cry out for help”.

Sadly there was no one on the shore to hear their cries and the boys had to battle the choppy waves.

The News Letter reported: “They were reduced to an awful plight through lack of food and the bitterly cold atmosphere; and their situation was rendered the more pitiful by reason of the fact that they had an attack of sea-sickness.”

At about half past one on Sunday morning the rowing boat was spotted of Kilroot by the crew of the SS Glen Maroon which belonged to Messrs John Kelly Ltd.

Once the boat was sighted a mate informed Captain Craig of the Glen Maroon and steamer went to their aid.

The boys were picked up where they were provided with food and comfortable quarters before being brought to shore at Belfast later that night.