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[by telegraph.] The Chimborazo encountered a fearful hurricane on Feb. 9, south-west of Ushant. She had quitted Plymouth with 362 passengers, a valuable cargo, and the largest mail ever carried by the Orient Company. The wind was blowing hard, and shortly before 9 in the morning, a gigantic wave was noticed coming in the direction of the ship. Onward it came, towering high above the vessel and threatening to engulph everything. With a terrible crash it dashed on to the starboard side from the funnel abaft the bridge, pouring over the ship with resistless power. The spar deck was completely swept, and the wave carried overboard every obstacle. The steam launch was torn from its berth, and five other boats from their davits. The galley skylights, smoking room, sheep pens, saloon companion, ventilators, and the whole of the general fittings of the centre deck Were carried away. The shock was fearful. There was terrible consternation, and for the moment it was feared that all standing on that part of the vessel, watching the wave, had been carried away; but it was soon ascertained that, whilst nearly all these were more or less injured, only four had been swept overboard—a cabin passenger, Mr. J. Bozer, C.E., and three seamen. Me. J. E. Jones, a second-class passenger, had his skull fractured and died almost immediately ; sixteen other passengers were injured. The purser had seen that the wave must sweep over the vessel, so just before she was struck he shouted to all to lay hold of anything, otherwise everyone there must have been swept overboard. Fortunately, the sea did not put the fires out. The only resource was to put the vessel’s head about for Plymouth, as soon as it could possibly be done with safety. The saloon was much damaged, but the hull, and engines were uninjured. A few minutes before the wave broke, the Captain requested the passengers to leave the smoking-room, as he desired to put the sheep there, several having been washed overboard. The passengers left accordingly, and a few minutes later the room was carried away with the deckhouses. The Chimborazo returned to Plymouth without assistance, and landed her passengers. Several of the daily papers had leaders commenting on the accident, and all concur in awarding great praise to the captain, officers, and crew. The “ Standard ” says : —“ The wave was so huge as to suggest the idea that it was due to some volcanic or subterranean disturbance other than the ordinary forces of the tempest. None of the Australian passengers returning by the Chimborazo were injured in any way.

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Bibliographic details

THE CHIMBORAZO IN A STORM., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 79, 27 March 1880

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THE CHIMBORAZO IN A STORM. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 79, 27 March 1880