Soothing the Troubled Waters.
The Hon. H. Chamberlain moved in the Upper House on Thursday that Government should cause all coasting steamers and sailing vessels to carry supplies of oil on board, for the purpose of soothing the troubled waters in case of threatened disaster at sea. The motion, a most excellent one as we venture to think, was withdrawn, as it appeared to be the opinion of the House that legislation on the subject Was premature, inasmuch as owners of vessels would be pretty sure to try the experiment without compulsion. Such experiments have already been repeatedly tried, and with invariable success. The waves may be rolling mountains high, the ship tossing about in the wildest way, but let a small quantity of oil be poured out, and lo ! the angry waters are powerless as if by magic, at least in the immediate proximity of the ship, and she rides out the storm as safely as if lying snugly at anchor in some well-protected harbor. Numerous instances where this has happened are on record, and fresh ones are cropping up every day. We therefore fail to see how the eriforcenient of sUch a simple and efficient precaution against danger could be anything but a wise and desirable step for Government to take. If left to shipowners themselves to adopt it maybe a longtime before they carry out the idea—on a large scale at least —and in the meantime many lives may be sacrificed. People are very slow to avail themselves of new and what may appear strange, discoveries. Had ships been compelled to carry with them the means of safety it would certainly have entailed no hardship on owners of vessels, and no inconvenience or expense worth speaking about, while many a valuable life might have been preserved. It seems a thousand pities that some one did not think of the oil experiment on that terrible Sunday afternoon recently experienced at Timaru. Had this been done, the poor fellows who battled so bravely with the waves on that memorable occasion might now perhaps be alive and well.
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Soothing the Troubled Waters., Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 671, 24 June 1882
Soothing the Troubled Waters. Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 671, 24 June 1882
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