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One of the worst tales of privation and death at sea during the war can now be published (states the ''Westminster Gazette")- .The vessel concerned was the Ellerman-Wilson liner Hildago, which was in charge of Captain 'Patton. Whilst on a voyage from Hull to Archangel she foundered in the Arctic Sea, and of her crew of thirtyfive, who spent five days and nights in an open boat, fifteen perished. The vessel sank quickly, and the men had only just time to crowd into one boat, which was built' to hold, twenty-five. The other boats had been smashed. T\vo of the crew lost their lives in trying to get into the one boat, and the others, crowded together with little food and less water, got ready to meet the unknown fate before them. The captain rationed out the water. Each man received a tablespoonful and a-half at stipulated periods, and the whole was designed to last two days. With this scanty supply the crew set to work to reach land. Flares were shown at night and signals by day, but no craft came near. After the second day, when tfie- water was exhausted, rain mercifully tell, and the men, making the best use of their clothes caught enough to obtain temporary relief. By the next day, however, all were suffering torments from their raging thirst, and finally, one after another, a number of the men, unable to resist the temptation, drank greedily from the salt water. The consequence was soon apparent. They became delirious-and had to be restrained from jumping overboard, finally they sank exhausted to the bottom of the boat. Thirteen men died in this fashion, and eight of them were buried at sea. The bodies of the last five, who died later, when land was first sighted, were kept in order to give them decent burial. The sight, of the land gave renewed strength- to the survivors, who by this time hud all become frost-bit-ten, and ihuy lay to the oars with a i last feeble spurt, and came to an island off a remote part of the Norwegian coast. Here ultimately they were put into hospital, where they received the kindest attention. The live I bodies were given Christian burial, and the survivors, some of whom had lost fingers and loes through frost-bite, were conveyed Lo their homes in Mull.

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Bibliographic details

THIRST AT SEA., Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIX, Issue 9583, 10 April 1919

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THIRST AT SEA. Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIX, Issue 9583, 10 April 1919