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A collision with shoals, cays and reefs


Ramón Pardo de Lama

Shipwreck zone

Bajo San Nicolás, Old Bahama Channel, The Bahamas



The packet brig known as Postillón, commanded by Lieutenant Ramón Pardo de Lama, was completely lost at a quarter past one on the night of July 12 in the shallow waters of San Nicolas (Old Bahama Channel), in the best breeze and sea conditions.

After the collision, the keel was completely lost and the brig began to take on water. The people on board jumped into Sardinero Key where they built barracks using the sails, put provisions and water inside, set fire to the part of the hull that remained out of the water and managed to extract all the quicksilver flasks that were destined for Veracruz, the rigging and some artillery.

On the 29th, a schooner arrived to help the castaways. Upon arrival in Havana, the ensuing proceedings for the losses suffered started. The prosecutor solved the mystery of the accident when he realized that the bearings made on the afternoon of July 12, which had supposedly been made at the mouth of Sagua la Grande, coincided perfectly with those of Sagua la Chica, which had been mistaken by the pilot of the Postillón.

The war council sentenced him to forfeit his position, and the commander was freed from charge.