I need your help. I've spent the past few days reading about Irish fishing villages. I ran across a story I recognize, but I need more details. These are the facts I've found.
On January 13, 1843 boats from two neighboring villages, Newcastle and Annalong, set out for their usual fishing stations. The fishermen headed for an area of rocky ground about seven miles offshore. Suddenly the ocean was churning with mountainous waves and the fleet was caught in a furious snowstorm.
The people of Portaferry joined the effort to save their friends. Wives and children waited on the shore, watching for the men to return, but only two boats survived. Fourteen boats were lost in the heavy seas including a boat which had gone to the rescue. Seventy-six men perished leaving twenty-seven widows and 118 children.
What I remember about this story is a mother from Portaferry, Ireland who was waiting on the shore for her son, Pete. It was reported that his boat had gone down. She fell on the ground in grief. Her other son was preparing his own boat to go out to rescue other fishermen on the dangerous sea. She begged him not to go. "I already lost one boy tonight. I can't bare to lose another." He told her he might be able to save someone else's son and off he went into the gale.
She was beside herself with sorrow and worry for hours. Suddenly a body was spotted floating in the ocean. Men rushed out to pull him onto the shore, and the mother saw that it was her son they were rescuing. As he came out of the water she realized he had another man in tow. "I'm all right, Mother," he called. "And I've saved my brother, Pete."
Does anybody remember hearing or reading this story? I'd really like to know if the story about the mother and Pete is true, and if it's part of the Irish account. I remember it from an LDS conference talk many years ago, but I think it was originally a Reader's Digest story. (I know I've used this story and I can picture which file it was in two houses ago.)