By Capt. Dan Berg
Photos: L'Herminie courtesy Mike Davis collection. Teddy
Tucker with projectiles by Dan Berg. Crossed Cannons by Alan
The 300 foot long, 60 gun French frigate, L'Herminie, was
launched in 1824, and completed in 1828. She had been part of a
Squadron in Mexican waters sent in order to enforce French claims
against Mexico. The L'Herminie arrived in Havana on August 3,
1837. Within three months, 133 of her crew came down with yellow
fever. Since the L'Herminie's crew would be useless in
battle, it was decided to recall her to France. On December 3,
1838, under the command of Commodore Bazoch, she was homeward bound
from Havana to Brest, France. Due to rough weather Captain Bazoch
headed for the shelter of Bermuda. By the time land was spotted, it
was too late. The big ship was already inside Bermuda's reef
structure and was doomed. Local boats came to her assistance and all
495 officers and crew were landed safely in Ely's Harbor.
Some of the L'Herminie's stores were salvaged the next day.
The crew departed Bermuda at the end of the month aboard the
vessels, Hercules, Jean and Osage.
recovered this bell from the L'Herminie. Photo courtesy Mike
Today, the wreck of the L'Herminie is resting four miles west
of Ireland Island in 30 to 35 feet of water on a sand and coral
bottom. According to Mike Burke, divers can count 40 of her cannons
on the sea bed, and those with a sharp eye may even see cannon
balls. The most famous spot on this wreck are her two crossed
cannons, which have become a favorite for underwater photographers.
Divers will also see a huge fluted anchor on the site.
The information listed
above was taken with permission from the Book:
BERMUDA SHIPWRECKS, ISBN # 0-9616167-4-1
A Vacationing Divers Guide to Bermudas Shipwrecks,
by Dan and Denise Berg, 6x9 softcover,73 pages.
Now also Available as
an instant download printable PDF eBook
BERMUDA SHIPWRECKS ebook
A Vacationing Divers Guide to Bermudas Shipwrecks
4.5 MB instant download, printable PDF file
by Dan and Denise Berg, 6x9, 73 page
From the first quarter of the 16th century,
Bermuda became a landmark for
Spanish ships sailing back to Spain from the New World. The desire to sight
Bermuda to confirm their position often ended their voyage as they wrecked
on Bermuda's outer reefs. To this day Bermuda's treacherous reefs have taken
their toll on shipping. The reefs have claimed vessels ranging from ocean
lines to small fishing boats. Bermuda Shipwrecks is the most comprehensive,
accurate, illustrated collection of information, photographs, sketches and
stories ever written about the legendary wrecks around Bermuda. Bermuda
Shipwrecks includes over 100 illustrations comprised of 61 sensational color
photos, 17 rare b&w historical images, 19 stamps, 4 sketches plus one
map. Bermuda Shipwrecks contains a wealth of enlightening information that
gives the readers a nostalgic glimpse into the history and present condition
of over 55 of Bermuda's most popular Shipwrecks.
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