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Wreck of an Ocean Steamer.

A wreck, which threatened to be of a most disastrous character, occurred on Saturday evening, September 6th, near the Lizard. The steamship Brest, of Glasgow, Captain Elder, left Havre on Friday at midnight, bound for Liverpool, with a general cargo, 130 passengers, and a crew consisting of thirty hands all told. The weather across the channel was thick and foggy, but nothing particular occurred until soon after eight on Saturday evening, when the Brest struck on the rocks at Polberro Point. Just before striking, and at the time of striking, she was going at full speed, nearly eleven knots an hour, and had foretopsail and fore and aft mainsails set. The wind was fresh from the south-west. The master, who was in charge of the deck, was under the impression that the vessel was some miles west of the Lizard, and sr, notwithstanding the state of the weather, the greatest speed of engine and pressure of canvass was kept on her. The force of her pas sage through the water may be imagined when it is said the rocks were broken by the blow she gave them, and the noise of the contact first drew the attention of the Coastguard and others, although nothing could be seen. Soon after, a blue light was observed coming from her. Commissioned boatman Lucas and four men went off in their boat to ascertain particulars, and to render assistance. When they got on deck there was a scene of the wildest confusion. The passengers, who appear to be all of the lowest classes, and natives of Italy, Germany, and Switzerland, and who could not speak a word of English, were rushing about like madmen. Other boats were soon got to the scene, and the whole of the passengers, excepting four—one child and three adults, who are reported as missing—were got on shore. The work of taking them out of the wreck was very difficult. As the boats were alongside the passengers came down by ropes, so fast, one after the other, that the greatest risk was run of the boats being swamped. When they were all got on shore they were made as comfortable as circumstances permitted at the village of Cadgwith. The Brest was an iron screw steamer, built at Glasgow in 1874. She was owned by Messrs J. Burns and Co., of Glasgow.

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Bibliographic details

Wreck of an Ocean Steamer., Ashburton Guardian, Volume I, Issue 15, 30 October 1879

Word Count

Wreck of an Ocean Steamer. Ashburton Guardian, Volume I, Issue 15, 30 October 1879