Finally, the wind changed. Newton wrote: “We saw the island of Tory and the next day anchored in Lough Swilly in Ireland. This was the 8th day of April, just four weeks after the damage we sustained from the sea. When we came into this port, our very last victuals was boiling in the pot; and before we had been there two hours, the wind began to blow with great violence. If we had continued at sea that night in our shattered condition, we must have gone to the bottom. About this time I began to know that there is a God that hears and answers prayer.”
This was the turning point of Newton's life. He stepped ashore a changed man. The crew received a warm welcome from the local villagers on the shores of Lough Swilly. Carpenters went to work repairing the ship. Meanwhile, John Newton visited the city of Derry where he stayed in an "exceeding good house" and attended prayers at Saint Columb's Cathedral twice a day. He took communion at the first opportunity, something he approached seriously as an opportunity to dedicate himself to God.
While staying in the city, he went out with a shooting party organised by the mayor of Derry (Mayor William Lecky) and was almost killed in a shooting accident!