The famine drove huge numbers of Irish men and women to leave the island and pursue their survival in foreign lands. In 1847, some 200,000 people sailed for Boston alone. Of this massive group, 2,000 never made it to their destination, killed by disease and hunger during the voyages, their remains consigned to a watery grave. The sinking of the brig St. John off the coast of Massachusetts in October 1849, was only one of many tragic events to occur during this mass exodus. The ship had sailed from Galway, loaded with passengers so desperate to escape the effects of famine that some had walked from as far afield as Clare to reach the ship.