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THE PERILS OF THE SEA

WRECK OF THE S.S. FIJIANr LOOTING "iLvAGES. NARROW ESCAPE OF THB PASSENGERS AND ORBWi, [BT UIOTBIO X»IBOBAPH— OOITMaHTj (»B PEMS ABSOOllXIOH.) . fßeoelved Jans 3, 1.30 • m.) Stdwbt. Jaat 8. The steamer Fijian, bound from Melbourne to the New Hebrides, struck on a reef off the coast of Tanna at 4 o'clock on the morning of May 13. Mr Harley, the second officer, was m charge at the time. When the vessel struck there was a frightful crash, and the fore compart* ment filled immediately with water, The danger was unseen till the vessel was almost on the reef, the officer mistaking it for an approaching squall. As the steamer began to settle down the Cap:* tain determined to beach her and ran h^r ashore on a sandy bottom. Three hundred armed natives were on tha beach and Burrounded the passengers when they landed, bat did not molest them. Next morning the natives began to loot the ship, but Captain Fielding had taken the precaution of destroying the spirits which were on board, lir Watt, a Presbyterian missionary, visited tht wreck, and said that, owing to the blood-thirstiness of the natives, he was unable to guarantee the lives of the passengers and orew of the vessel for five minutes. Mr Watt took off the passengers, and also the Captain, who was m bad health, m his boat and conveyed them to the mission station. It is believed that the fact of the natives Jtting bo busily engaged m looting, alone saved the lives of the passengers. The Eliza Mary, a labor Tessel, was BJghted and stood by the castaways. The steamer Tenterden arriving at the Island took the crew on board and brought them on to Kydney. The Fijian's six passengers, belonging to r*uva and Melbourne, be* hayed splendidly. .

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THE PERILS OF THE SEA Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2141, 3 June 1889

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