SUPPOSED LOSS OF LIFE AT THE AUCKLAND ISLANDS.
In reference to the telegram regarding the reported loss of eight men at the Auckland Islands, mentioned in our telegrams, the Dunedin “ Herald ” publishes the following : The first definite information we obtained was from Captain Wilson, of the scaling schooner Friendship, which came offa cruise in December, 1879. He reported that a whaleboat’s crew of seven men left Port Boss, Auckland Islands, about the beginning of October, on a sailing cruise, but that they had not made their appearance up to the close of November. The crew of the Friendship searched both coasts of the island without result, and on returning to Port Ross after the Awarua had made a second visit, the provisions wore found exactly as they were left. Captain Wilson reported the matter when ho arrived here, and on Dec. 19 made the subjoined statement to Mr. Hackworth, Collector of Customs : The Awarua landed eight men at Port Ross on July 4 last for the purpose of sealing. She returned again with provisions for them in October last, but the men were not there. The Awarua, after discharging the provisions, left for Campbell Islands on Oct. 27, believing, it is supposed, that the men were on a sealing cruise, as the whaleboat belonging to the station was away. Captain Wilson reports having called at Port Ross on Sunday November 9, and found the provisions landed by the Awarua untouched, the presumption being that the men had gone round to the west coast sealing and had got their boat swamped. Had they succeeded, however, in getting safely to land there would be no possibility of their getting away, as the rocks are perpendicular, until some assistance was sent, bub they might be able to exist on seal flesh, and would find shelter amongst the rocks and coves there.
On Friday, Capt. Drew of the Awarua, made the following declaration before Mr. Hackworth :—I landed eight men on the Auckland Islands on July 10. The following day I took one man named Griffiths on board again, and sailed for the Campbells. I returned again to the Aucklands about Oct, 14, and lay there about twelve days, and landed three months’ provisions. The men were not there. I don’t think at that time they had been away for more than a fortnight at the outside. Knowing that they had a good whaleboat, I took it for granted they were away on a sealing cruise. Having another party waiting for me at the Campbells, who I knew were short of provisions, I took advantage of the fine weather, and sailed for there the latter end of October. Before leaving I left a letter for the party, stating that as they had left no record of where they had gone to, I was unable to send a boat to look after them, and that I would be back in a certain time. At the time I left there was altogether fully four months’ provisions for seven men. I ran from the Aucklands to the Campbells in about 40 hours, and remained there about three months and a-half sealing, and thence came to Port Chalmers, and arrived here on Feb. 1. Since being in port I have learned that the Friendship had visited the Aucklands, and found everything just as I had left it. I therefore conclude that the boat must have foundered, and all hands drowned.
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Ashburton Guardian, Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 64, 21 February 1880
SUPPOSED LOSS OF LIFE AT THE AUCKLAND ISLANDS. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 64, 21 February 1880
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