BENZINE ON FIRE.
LAUNCH PARTY'S THRILLING EXPERIENCE. The crew of the motor launch Te Papapa passed through a trying experience as the result of a fire which curred on board that vessel whilst she was proceeding from Kawau to Coromandel. The launch left Kawau at 8 o'clock on Saturday evening last, and when she was about halfway on the journey to Coromandel, Mr. T. Taylor, the owner, and Mr. Shaw were refilling the oil tanks with benzine, using a naked light for guidance. The benzine became ignited, and names immediately spread over the engine room. The clothing of Messrs. Taylor and Shaw caught fire, and both men hurried out of the engine room. Mr. Taylor immediately jumped overboard in order to extinguish the flames which were fast enveloping him. Mr. Shaw appeared bewildered for the moment, but two other members of the crew promptly, threw him into the sea. Both men were soon got on board, the sea water having effectively put out the flames which had seized their clothing. All hands then applied wet blankets and bedding to the flames in the engine room, and very soon the fire was extinguished. All attempts to get the engine in working order failed, and the vessel, drifted till daylight, when she again got under way, and her head was turned for Auckland. Off the Tamaki Heads on Sunday evening, the engine again broke down, and a strong breeze drove the launch on to the beach. The party walked to Panmure, stopping there for the night. Mr. Shaw, who was suffering from severe wounds about the hands and arms, received first-aid treatment, and was taken to Onehunga yesterday, where he was attended to by Dr. Tresidder. Mr. Taylor's injuries were not severe.
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