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FURTHER PARTICULARS.

Ivercargii-i,, April 14. The names of the survivors are Jno. Brownrigge, first mate, Joseph Green, Geo. Cummings, and Wm. Meek, A.B.s The vessel was thrown on her beam ends when clearing Foveaux Straits by a terrific hurricane and the deck and masts were torn out. Before the masts went over one of the boats was got out but was cut in two by the falling mast and all on board were drowned except Green who regained the vessel after being, two hours on a piece of floating timber. The vessel drifted for five days and went ashore on 31st March on Red Head, the south point of Stewart Island. Cummings swam ashore and the others stuck to the vessel till next day when the vessel broke up and they landed on pieces of timber having then been 5 days without food or water. They wandered about the rocks for seven days living on two Maori hens, part of a dead seal found on the beach and a few shell fish, and seaweed. During this time they ascended the cliff to reach the other part of the Island and when half way up Brownrigga whose feet and legs were in a fearful state from exposure, gave up, and lay down on a ledge of rock. The others reached the beach on the opposite side. A party of mutton birders from the adjoining Island under George Newton saw the vessel strike and" as soon as the weather allowed made a search. They first discovered Brownrigge on the ledge after having lain there three days. His mates were subsequently rescued by the same party and taken to Mutton Bird Islands, receiving the greatest kindness from the Natives and others. The tug Awarua went out and brought the survivors to the Bluff and they are now in the Hospital' at Invercargill. Brownrigge is in a very critical state and there is little hope of his surviving. The others are doing well—they say that Captain Small who was lost in the boat behaved splendidly giving his orders with the greatest coolness to the last. The A.B.s are single men and the mate, a widower, none having friends in the colony. The three sailors saved joined the vessel at the Bluff. A few weeks ago the Steward of the vessel, who is amongst those drowned, was charged with attempted suicide, but dismissed and returned to the vessel. He was a swimmer of phenomenal ability. Latest. Brownrigge is dead. The Emilie was commanded by Captain G. L. Small of Boston, with the following officers and crew : —John Brownrigge (fiirt mate), H. Morgan (second mate), T. McConnell (steward), W. Fleming (carpenter), and Seamen F. Yarnall, George Henry, Christian Holm, George Green, Chas. Cummings, W. L, Meek. The vessel was twenty-five years old and was formerly known as the "Arabella." Soon after the wind started she leaked badly and the pumps could not be worked. The captain tried to run back to Bluff but the vessel refused to answer her helm lying like a log on the water and ultimately rolled oeer on her broadside. The Captain ordered the boats out, both these being promptly swamped and the eight men who got in one were drowned. The Captain who behaved with the utmost coolness went to his cabin and put nine hundred pounds in his pocket on the chance of being saved.

Accounts given by the survivors show ' that the vessel had been a floating coffin. Questioned regarding the seaworthiness of the barque, all three men say that she was quite unfit to proceed to sea. Green said "she is one of the worst old traps that ever filled with salt water, and was not fit to be afloat. Any seaworthy boat . would have stood the weather all right, I have been in much worse weather. All the canvas was taken off her before she went on her beam ends. The sails, ropes, and rigging were rotten, in fact there was . nothing but red paint holding her j together." Brownrigge, the mate, who j died in the hospital a few minutes after j his admission, to-day, was a big powerful ' man. His death was caused by wearing gum boots for nine days after the wreck, which brought on gangrene. The barque which was 25 years old, was owned in San j Francisco and had had her name changed, being formerly the "Arabella." The survivors were six days without food or water, and for the other six subsisted on a dead seal found and two nvood hens. All are in the hospital, their feet especially being badly swollen and cut.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AG18900415.2.10

Bibliographic details

FURTHER PARTICULARS., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2401, 15 April 1890

Word Count
772

FURTHER PARTICULARS. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2401, 15 April 1890

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