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Wreck of H.M.S. Cobra.

A SURVIVORS NA,RR\TIVB

H.M Torpedo deatro3er Cobra, was wrecked oa the ' >uter Dowaingf off the Lincolnshire coast on the morning of September 18th, when being , navigated from the corn factor's yard, Ne*cas'le on Tyno to Portsmouth. She h«d on bo^d a navigation party, consisting of 54 m n al! tolri, and 25 men in tho employ of the contractors, a total of 79 souls. Ouly 12 were saved and 67 drowned. A survivor who, with eleven other mcD, was brought to Mid<iiesborouj?h „b: y the P. and O e steamer Harlington gives ths following account of the Wreck :— ■ (i We struck <*t half-past; seven on Wednesday morning, Tho sea was high, and there w^a a nssty cross sea. The Oobra began to roll very heavily in the middle w*tc*\ At about four o'clock—it was just fihoafc sunrise—l . went ap on deck to see what was the "'matter. The ewel continued to roll, and'then shp suddenly struck the shoal, atd the wav^s in n morae' t broke over her. AUrra-d by the £ rce of the shock. pvery mun c-trap up on deck. Some of the men wt>re in th ir berths, . ftod bad notirae to dres^ themselves. The seas began to rollover the forecastle, and a few moments later the Oobra broke in two, fore and aft. Some otu 1 jj«?p the order to clear thf boats nwav, but I don't know who. I had already Ci'innienccd to do thip. Th* m was a whaler and a dii ghy on board, and three collapsible boats. Some difficulty however, was experienced with the latter, and whether 'try g t out or not I don't kn< w. The whaler »nd the dinghy were launched, but T behove the former was swamped. She did not take the water right. I myself cut the dinghy clear, and then, as the after part of the vesspl was rising, I ciuld see there was no hope of remaining on her, and we launched the dinghy. Directly she was in the water several mpn boarded her from the ship. Most of the remtindrr of the crew jumped into the soa from fear of being taken down in the vortex, sb no one knew th<? depth of tho water •round. Besides, evry moment an explosion of the boilers was feared. Several unfortunate fellows, hoW'Ver, gtfiyed on bnord until tlie end. Everything S'em'd to happen so quickly i-hat I cannot Ml how lo"S w • were before We got clear of the ship and the wreck•ge, but I sh >t»ld think it would be about five minutes. Ah we moved away from the Oobra we pkkfd up a number of men who were in the I water, ciii we had nine aboard. Chief Engineer Percey was the last of the nine. Three other men bang on to the side of the dinghy for three hours before we dsred take them in. owing to the rough ssa and the danger of swamping the boat, which is only built' to hold eight men. I had, however, thrown all the tackle overboard that waa not absolutely necessary, and we bad remaining two sculls and two oars. When I took a last look at the ship ahe was lying awash on her after part, and her fore p*rfc was standing up almost vertically like a beacon. As we rowed avay from the vessel we kept on passing the bodies of drowned men, and I 'ear that all of the ship's crew and the contractors' men, except those in the dinghy, perished. ' LIFEBELTS WERE OF NO USE. We rowed on all d*y, but we were :i'ttdable" to make much headway for fear of being swamped. We endeavoured to get in the track of steamers, and I tried to attract attenticn by waving a n stoker's towel at the end of a boatbook, bat several stearnera passed without noticing U3, At length, after a weaty and trying ten hours' in an open boat, we were rescued by the P, and 0. steamer Harlington.'

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AG19011030.2.37

Bibliographic details

Wreck of H.M.S. Cobra., Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXI, Issue 5510, 30 October 1901

Word Count
670

Wreck of H.M.S. Cobra. Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXI, Issue 5510, 30 October 1901

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