Fatal Boat Accident in the Solway.

Early on Wednesday morning two men who were engaged in herring fishing in the Solway, and who resided in Workington, were drowned through the foundering of their fishing smack. It appears that the two men – whose names were Daniel COILE, mariner, 60 years of age, and Alexander M’KINNELL, about 40 years of age – went out of Workington harbour between six and seven o’clock in a small fishing smack for the purpose of fishing all night. The weather was not very favourable for an expedition of the kind when they went out, but as the night wore on the breeze became stronger. All went well, however, till early in the morning, when, it seems, as the unfortunate men were endeavouring to make their way back to Workington the craft foundered. Both men were drowned half-a-mile or so from the West Cumberland Iron and Steel Company’s works. On Wednesday morning the upper portion of the mast of the ill-fated boat was visible from the shore, but no traces of the fishermen could be found till about nine o’clock when the dead body of Daniel Coile was picked upon the beach by a man named James THOMPSON. Later on in the day the rudder of a small boat, supposed to belong to the one that had foundered that morning, was found on the beach near Flimby. Coile leaves a widow, but no family; M’Kinnell resided with his sister, who recently kept the King’s Arms Inn, King-street, Maryport, but who is now the landlady of the Griffin Hotel, Pow-street, Workington. The body of M’Kinnell has not yet been recovered.

An inquiry was held yesterday afternoon at the Steam Packet Inn, Stanley-street, Workington, before Mr WEBSTER, coroner, and a jury touching the death of Daniel Coile.

Margaret SCRUGHAM was the first witness examined. She said: I live at Harrington and am a single woman. On Tuesday afternoon, about four o’clock, I saw the deceased. He was then in his own house, and afterwards went out telling me he was going out to fish. He went with Alexander M’Kinnell, and that was the last time I saw the man alive. He was a mariner by trade, and lived in Stewart-street, Workington. He was 60 years of age on the 9th of April. I assisted in laying out the body, and there were no wounds or bruises upon it except a scar on the left leg which had been caused on Monday morning. I never saw the deceased again until his body was brought into the house.

Edward SARGENT said: I live in John-street, Workington. Am a mariner. Knew the deceased man, Daniel Coile. Last saw him alive at two o’clock in the 21st inst. He was then in a boat along with another man named M’Kinnell lying off the Maryport Ironworks, to the south of the town. He asked me how man fish I had caught, I said "Not many." He said, "Do not run over my nets, Ned;" and I said I did not intend to do so. At daylight, about half-past two o’clock, he was just under my stern, and beating to the south. It was blowing hard, with a heavy sea running. He had all sail set. When we got down to the West Cumberland Iron and Steel Works’ slag bank he was about half a mile off the shore, and I was close to the shore. I saw something and thought it was a buoy, but afterwards found it was the jib of his boat, which was sinking. I believe that at that time his boat foundered. There was a distance of half a mile between us and them. We could not see either of the men. The only way in which I can account for the boat foundering was that she filled. She went down stern foremost. There was more sea on where he was than where we were. We eventually ran for Maryport. He had taken in his nets previous to her sinking.

James THOMPSON deposed: I am a mariner. On Tuesday night I was going out to fish and we took the ground and afterwards came in owing to the heavy weather. About nine o’clock I went over to the North-side shore, and in searching along the shore found the body of the deceased. He was lying face downwards and had his jacket on. I then looked for the other body but could not find it. I found the boat as well. If the door of the forecastle had been shut and water-tight the boat might have kept up a short time.

The jury, without retiring, returned a verdict of "Accidentally drowned."