The tragic sailor of Cape Verde and his last home are now marked

Computing has taken a lifetime for many, but finally, the last resting place of a Cape Verdean sailor, who died when a ship fell in the port of Drogheda, has been correctly recognized.

It was just before Christmas 1970, when Gabriel Silva Cardosa (44), from Cape Verde, off the west coast of Africa, lost his life.

He was on board the Friars Craig when it fell into the hold while preparing to leave Drogheda harbor.

He was rushed to hospital but died the next day, Christmas Eve. He was married and the father of six children.

In January 1971, the Company met and offered a vote of sympathy to his relatives and friends and also thanked all those who helped him, both at the port during the accident and at the hospital in Lourdes.

Gabriel was buried in Saint-Pierre cemetery, but without any family and no mark on his grave.

In early 2020, a man named Michael Twohig called Drogheda’s independent office with a simple request, to honor his old friend with a permanent memorial on his grave.

“I was 21 when Gabriel died. He was a man’s saint, originally from Cape Verde, a Portuguese colony at the time.

“In the summer of 1970 I was on the Friars Craig with him and we hit a storm off Lands End. We did two miles in seven hours, but we managed to get around and get into Penzance, but the boat was wrecked, ”he said.

He was then shocked to learn of Gabriel’s death and didn’t know where he was buried until he started looking for the grave, returning to Drogheda to see it.

Gabriel was married with six children and Michael wondered what had become of them after his death.

“I hope to put a stone on him because he’s 50 years old there,” Michael added at the time.

With the support of the cemetery, Michael’s grave is now properly marked, a cross detailing his name recently erected and how he died away from home over half a century ago.

The Friars Craig was launched off Barbados in 1985 and is today a place for divers to explore the ocean.


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