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SUPPOSED LOSS OF THE CITY OF DUNEDIN.

Since the arrival of the steamer Tararua a week ago, there have been indefinite rumors afloat as to the safety of the paddle steamer City ot Dunedin, belonging to this port, and which by the time of the Tararua's visit to : Nelson should have reached that port on her way westward to Hokitiki. To the circumstance of her not having arrived at Nelson at the - date she was due was added the fact of half-a-cask of pitch addressed " Steamer favorite, Hokitiki," being found near the pilot station, Wellington— such an article, with such address, having ♦been shipped on board the City of Dunedin previous to her departure from Port Chalmers— and inform mation was on Thursday received by private telegram from Lyttleton, that cabin cushions and other articlas belonging to a steamer's outfit had been found in different situations along the northern - shores of Cook's Straits. While these circumstances gave rise to the belief that the City of Dunedin or some similar vessel . Lad met with some damage during the recent severe weather which prevailed in the Straits, they, however, afforded no necessary grounds for fearing that the vessel to which thty belonged had met with any serious disaster. By the advices which were yesterday received by the Queen, there seems, however, to be little doubt that, in the neighborhood of Wellington, some vessel has been totally, lost, and we regret to say that the accumulation of evidence favors the painful presumption that the vessel was no other than the City of Dunedin. In the absence of any news as to the fate of her passengers and crew, it may be hoped that we shall yet hear that at least some of them are survivors of the disaster which has apparently overtaken the good ship in which they sailed. The City of Dunedin left Port Chalmers on the 14tb. pf last month, with a moderate cargo and a number of passengers for Lyttleton, Wellington, Nelson, and Hokitiki. The passengers who were booked for the two latter ports, and who would of course be on board after her departure from Wellington, were Mrs. Macartney and Mr. R. Henry, of the firm of Messrs. Henry and Co., of this city* booked for Hokitiki, and Miss Baxter, Mr. M'Coll, and Mr. Barren, booked for Nelson. Mr. Frederick Greer was also on board, but he is understood to have taken passage at Lyttleton by the steamer Otago. As passengers are occattHnally in the habit of going on board the ffi^asnrs at Port Chalmers without bookXjjrthemselves at the agents' offices, it is probable that there may have been a few more on; board whose names are not known. The following are the names of the passengers reported as having joined her at Lyttleton. For Hokitiki : Mr. Bishop and Mr. Johnson. For Nelson: Mr. M'Laren. Steerage passengers— Mrs. Briggs. D. Moukay, H. Dawson. JBartell, Mr and Mrs Moody, Mrs M'Laren, J. M'Lean, J. Howe, and R. Crawford. It is also believed that Mr. John Beswick, of Timaru, was en board as a passenger, having decided, shortly before the departure of the steamer, to proceed to Hokitiki. The crew and officers numbered twenty- five, Captain Boyd, well and favorably known on this coast, being in command, Mr. M'William being chief officer, Mr. D. M'Donald, chief engineer, Mr. Alex. Campbell, carpenter, ana Miss Mackay, stewardess. The following letter has been addressed to Messrs. J. Jones and Co., by Messrs Bethune and Hunter, the I Wellington agents : — "We regret that it\ is our duty to advise you that there is a very painful rumor in circulation respecting the City of Dunedin. She sailed from this port on Saturday afternoon, the 20th inst), about 4 o'clock, and up to the time the s.s.vTararua left Nelson, on Tuesday, the 23rd instant, she had not made her appearance\ there, neither was anything seen or heardlpf her either by the s.s. Wellington or TaJKirua, the one steamer coming via Pictonl the other direct. This, however, we wermnot aware of until after both steamers u,ad sailed for the south, but you may ha\e learnt this prior to the present coming iritb your possession. . It was fina when she left jthis port, the little wind blowing being fronii the south-east, ;butj the pilot says; the^e was a heavy south-east swell in the

Straits. A steamer's binnacle with the i name of " Heron," of Glasgow, came on shore in Lyell's Bay; a half cask of pitch marked "S. Favorite, Hokitika," was found near the pilot station ; and a green plush cushion was picked up about Sinclair Head, as (veil as some maple colored cabin fittings in small pieces. This is about all that has been seen up to the present time: The conjecture is, that in standing across the Straits she was kept rather close to the shore and struck against the Seal Rock or some others in that neighborhood. Supposing this to have happened, she would sink at once, and there would not have been time to launch a boat or a soul saved. Against all this, there is a chance that what has been found belonged to some other vessel, and the possibility that the City of Dunedin went straight on to Hokitika, without calling at Nelson. Unfortunately, we shall not Hear from the lastnamed port before Saturday, the 3rd prox. In the meantime we must hope for the best, and trust that it will prove a false alarm. Everybody here is much concerned, as Captain Boyd and his excellent mate were well known and highly respected. "Since the preceding was written, we have had a long conversation with a Mr Archibald Weir, at present commanding a small coaster, called the Streamlet. He informs us that he acted as second officer of the City of Dunedin for upwards of nine months. Yesterday being Sunday, he went out to the Heads, and spent the day walking round the beach in every direction. He saw some small fragments, a binnacle," a skylight, and a boat's rudder, and we regret to inform you, expresses no doubt that these three articles belonged to the City of Dunedin. He remembered the binnacle by a secret spring there is on it, which he did not discover before he was six months in the vessel, and then only by its being pointed out to him by a man who came out from Glasgow in her. The skylight he identifies by a portion of it being* broken, which *ras done while the vessel was on her way to or from Melbourne/ The rudder, he said, was made at Lyttelton, and it was too large, and apiece of the head is peculiar and partly broken. Captain Blair .(of the Sea Serpent), and Captain Campbell (of the Esther), both very steady and experienced men, went out with Mr Weir, and it is their opinion that, if the worst has happened, the accident occurred off Sinclair Head, the swell having probably driven the vessel closer to the land than was supposed by those on board. On one occasion the Prince Alfred had a narrow escape under what we may assume to be some wb at similar circumstances, but she had the benefit of daylight, and the captain was able to extricate her." Amongst other articles reported by the Wellington papers as being washed ashore, were the following : — ' A large sized sandal wood box, with the brass corners, name plate, and lock knocked off ; an oar, about 15 feet long, broken at the centre, and without any brand ; several pieces of tongued and grooved timber painted white, resembling cabin fittings, one piece having a brass clothes-peg attached ; the top of a paint locker, about five feet long, with a brass hasp 5 an oblong frame painted white, and much resembling those placed over cabin doors for the purpose 01 ventilation ; a common striped Crimean shirt, with the name of 'B. Macdonald ' sewn in at the back of the neck on a piece of common calico j portions of one or more white calico shirts, and some few small pieces of timber. The half-cask of pitch, addressed to the Favorite, had a label attached, with the letters ' C.L.A.' only distinguishable. This proves the identity of the cask, and its connection with the City of Dunedin. Such a cask was shipped by Messrs Clark and Co. of Port Chalmers, on the day the vessel sailed, and the boatman who took it on board states that it was placed in the lower hold ot the vessel, in which case the vessel must have broken up before it could have been floated •away. On the other hand, the cask has been identified by a man named Morrison, who went up in the City of Dunedin last trip, in the* capacity of first or second steward. He says that it stood upon the deck, and he was in the habit of making a seat of it. The shirt found is presumed to have belonged to the chief engineer of the vessel, whose name was D. Macdonald. Heron was the name of the maker of the but, of course, he must have supplied -many other vessels with similar appliances. The cabin cushions of the City of Dunedin were covered with green

velvet j but the Rangatira and other vessels trading on the coast were similarly furnished. With reference to some of the other articles fonnd, it is not necessary to point ont that as they belonged to the deck, they may have been washed overboard in a heavy sea, which might not affect the actual safety of the vessel. — Daily Times.'

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/BH18650608.2.17

Bibliographic details

SUPPOSED LOSS OF THE CITY OF DUNEDIN., Bruce Herald, Volume III, Issue 61, 8 June 1865

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SUPPOSED LOSS OF THE CITY OF DUNEDIN. Bruce Herald, Volume III, Issue 61, 8 June 1865

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