Pilotage within the port of Falmouth had been suspended due to bad weather when Captain Gerard of the French Cape Horner Asnieres (3,100 tons) decided to enter Falmouth without a pilot at the height of a southerly gale in December 1914.

Heavy seas were running in the bay and it was impossible for any pilot to board the vessel.

The Asnieres inward “for orders” from San Francisco with a cargo of barley came in at a good rate, when she suddenly brought up and it was discovered she was ashore off Castle Point, St Mawes.

The Falmouth lifeboat Bob Newbon, under the command of coxswain Sam Hingston launched to go to her aid.  Coxswain Hingston decided to anchor a little distance from the Asnieres in order to prevent any spars falling on the lifeboat.

The Packet reported: “Walter Morrison, Junior, at great risk to himself and his motor launch, which narrowly escaped being wrecked, took ropes to the tugs Perran and Dragon. Later the tugs Perran, Triton and Polzee failed in their attempts to tow the Asnieres off.”

Barges were brought alongside the following day allowing a discharging operation to get underway. The crew of 25 were rescued by the lifeboat Bob Newbon two days later when the weather changed for the worse.

Despite being pounded by successive south westerly gales the Asnieres sustained little damage to her hull. Tugs refloated her the following month whereupon she was taken to the docks for repairs. After a lucky escape at Falmouth the Asnieres sailing days were short lived.

While bound from Bahia Blanca to Bordeaux laden with wheat the Asnieres fell foul of the German raider Moewe on January 2, 1917. The German captured the crew before sinking the four masted barque  close to St Peter’s  and St Paul’s rocks just north of the equator.

Asnieres was a French “bounty” ship. The French government believed that the merchant marine was a national asset. The sailing ships  were called “bounty ships”  because of the mileage and building bounties (or subsidies) their owners were paid by the state.