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DISASTROUS HURRICANE AT SAMOA.

SIX MEN-OF-WAR LOST.

TWO SHIPS AND ELEVEN COASTERS WRECKED.

OUER 180 LIVES LOST.

H.M.S. CALLIOPE SAFE.

(per press association.)

Auckland. March 30

News from Samoa under date March 16, states :— Six men-of-war were lost here to-day, viz., three German — the Olga, Eber, and Adler — and three American — the Nipsic, the Trenton (flagship), and Vandalia. The American loss of life is 40 ocers and 46 men, the German, 9 officers and 87 men.

Two iron barques (one the Peter God frey^ and eleven cutters were wrecked and four men drowned.

'H.M.S. Calliope steamed out during the worst of the hurricane, and there was not a ship m the harbor except the Calliope but went ashore. The Calliope is now on her way to Sydney.

Later. The following are full particulars of the disaster : —

Apia was visited by one of the severest gales experienced for years on Saturday 9th insr. On Friday the barometer fell to 29 10, and on Saturday morning about 2 o'clock the gale set m from the northeast and blew with great force. At about 5 o'clock nearly all the vessels m harbor were dragging their anchors, and at half past five H.I.G.M.S. Eber drifted ashore on to the inside reef. Her side was immediately stove m and she heeled over into deep water. One of her officers and a number of men jumped on to the reef and made for the shore, and with the greatest struggling m the surf ten or twelve saved their lives. All who remained by the ship went down with the vessel. Abont 75 men, including the captain and officers, were lost. About half past six o'clock H.I.G.M.S. Adler also went ashore a few hundred yards farther to the westward. She was lifted completely on to the reef by the surf, and fortunately heeled over towards the shore. Many of her men managed to reach the land during the day, and all, with the exception of about 15, were saved. Many were lost m the attempt to reach the shore, but the current was too strong. A boat capsized and 4 or 5 lives were lost, others were saved by the Samoans who came m great numbers to render assistance. About 10 o'clock the U.S.S. Vandalia dragged and gradually dropped down to nearly the same position as that occupied by the Nipsic. By skilful management she also cleared the reef but before she could reach the sandy shore she suffered some injury to her bottom for she sank within about 100 feet from where the Nipsic was grounded. In a short time her hull was completely submerged and her officers and crew had to take refuge m the rigging. Some of the crew risked their lives by attempting to swim ashore, but the current took many of the poor fellows away. Here the Natives rendered great service. They rushed into the foaming surf and saved several of the swimmers nearly exhausted. In one instance the Natives themselves risked toOiinuch. They ventured into the current too for and two of them lost their lives. It was nearly heartrending to look on the Vandalia seeing all her people shivering m the rigging almost within A stone's throw of the shore, during the whole day and no assistance being available. Some twenty men were saved by swimming to the Nipsic and then by dropping by a line attached to the shore held by Natives and .some of the men of war sailors. Fully 42 lives have been lost from the ship including Captain Schonmaker and some four officers, and many were accidentally injured on board. H.M.S Calliope, the U.S.S Trenton and the Olga were then seen dragging towards the beach. The Calliope took everybody, by surprise by steaming well out m the face of the gale and went safely out of the harbor. The Trenton and Olga were the only men of war left that had not ■ yet come ashore. The Trenton unfortunately shipped a sea which got down to the furnaces. She was then unable to keep up sufficient steam to make headway against the wind and sea and drifted down and came stern on to the Olga receiving considerable damage The rudder was carried away and the propeller rendered useless. She held on fairly well to her anchors till § p.m. when she dropped alongside the Vandalia, her stern bumping on the ground within 50 feet of the reef. A number of the Vandalia's men who were m the rigging of that vessel managed to get on board the Trenton. The Olga was splendidly managed. By really good seamanship she was beached m one of the best positions, near Vaisogavo river. Her officers and crew were saved.

Alt the men of war, with the exception of H.M.S. Calliope, which went to sea, are either wrecked or on shore.

Following is about the cumber of lives lost from the vessels named; — - Vandalia, 38 men and 4 officers; Eber, 75 men and the captain and all officers .except one; Nipsic, 6 men; Adler, 14, Including officers and men m all about 150 perished. All the merchant vessels m the harbor were also wrecked or driven ashore but only one life was lost that of a man named Ormsby who was a visitor on board the schooner Lily. Following is the list of casualties : — Total wrecks — Peter Godeffroi, barque, 4162 tons; Lily, schooner, 44 tons; Agur, barquentine, 299 tons; Fituan, cutter, 19 tons. Ashore-^-Upoluj schooner sixiyeight tons ; Utumapvj schooner, 12 tons; Vaiteli, cutter, 13 tons ; Mukutuna, ketch, 29 tons. The only vessel m the harbor which escaped was a little schopner of about 5 tons owned by Meredith, About 300 or 400 Samoans were ! sent by Mataafa and Suemanatafa to I render assistance apd did immense servipe, $0 distinction wag made, the Samoans giving wiiimg help to Qermans and Americans alike. The town presents a very dismal appearance. Although no buildings of value were destroyed sheds, wharves and jetties were destroyed. The streets and beach are strewn with debris and wreckage of every description. On Tuesday, March xo, the Calliope letumeij to th& harbor, having success*

fully weathered the hurricane. A heavy sea came aboard and lifted one [ of the crew off his feef, and dashed him to the deck with such violence that be was killed. The American officers and Captain Kane's own officers are unanimous m their expressions of admiration at the way m which he handled his ship. The Germans have some hopes of getting the Olga off and are proceeding to lighten her. A safe containing 43,000 dollars has been recovered from the wreck of the Vandalia.

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Permanent link to this item

http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AG18890330.2.26

Bibliographic details

DISASTROUS HURRICANE AT SAMOA., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2098, 30 March 1889

Word Count
1,108

DISASTROUS HURRICANE AT SAMOA. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2098, 30 March 1889

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