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LIGHTNING (18) Built in 1829, Pembroke.
Renamed LARNE in 1832.

  • 1829 T. DICKINSON, 06/1829, fitting out at Plymouth for South America. She was re-fitting at Rio after a trip to the Pacific when news was received on 5 December 1830 of the loss on Cape Frio of the frigate THETIS bound for England with gold and silver bars and other treasure.
    After striking the cliffs she had drifted along the coast, finally breaking up in a small cove.
    The general opinion was that the treasure was irrecoverable but this was not shared by Capt. Dickinson and, being "A gentleman of considerable mechanical talents" he offered his services to Rear-Ad. Baker.
  • A British civil engineer, Mr Moore, who was residing in Rio, improvised diving bells using iron tanks from WARSPITE.
    These were suspended at first from a massive derrick built by the carpenter, Mr Jones, and after, when that was smashed to pieces in a gale which produced waves to a height of nearly 100 feet up the cliffs, from ropes stretched across cliff tops.
  • While the derrick was being prepared, Richard HEARNS, carpenter's mate of LIGHTNING and George DEWAR, a seamen, went down in a small bell suspended from a launch belonging to WARSPITE.
    They found only pieces of wreckage and nearly lost their lives when the bell was dashed against the rocks and overturned.
    Then, on 1 April 1831 a few dollars were discovered and then a little gold.
    By the time LIGHTNING was relieved in March 1832 he and his people had recovered 600,000 dollars which had been scattered over a rocky bottom at depths of up to 75 feet.
    Mr MOORE and Mr LINZEE, mate of ADELAIDE, were drowned in a accident with a boat on 10 June.
    Capt. DE ROOS in ALGERINE continued the salvage and brought the total to 747,909 dollars by the time he finished operations in July.
    (see ALGERINE for additional detail)
  • LIGHTNING returned home in August 1832 and was paid off at Portsmouth on 13 September.
    The ship's company presented a sword and epaulettes to their commander (Commander DICKINSON at first declined to accept them since " he disapproved of the principle of inferiors expressing a public opinion of their superiors" but he was persuaded by other officers.) and rings to Lieut. Thomas FORBES, master Charles POPE and mate M. D. BLENNERHASSET, in gratitude for his care of them off Cape Frio.
  • In 1832 she was re-named LARNE q.v.
    (LIGHTNING being needed for a steam vessel at Woolwich)

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