(by our special reporter.) her last voyage.
The Zuleika left Dunedin for Wellington at 2 o'clock last Monday week, the 12th inst. She was towed out by the tug Plucky, and lay becalmed off Taiaroa Heads for 36 hours. At the end of that time she picked up a fair wind, which carried her up opposite Banks Peninsula. The breeze then began to increase until it was blowing a regular gale about midnight on Thursday. "When the wind became too strong, C.ipt. Brerniter (a man of 37) put the vessel under a goose-winged topsail and double-reefed spanker, and kept that canvas on her until midday on Friday. A lower foretopsail (goosewinged) and the foretopmast staysail were then set, and as the wind and sea had increased she was brought into the wind. LAND SIGHTED. Shortly after 11 p.m. the land was sighted on the port bow, and the captain seeing the vessel was in danger, gave order* to wear the ship, and she was in the act of wearing when she struck. A grating sound was heard as if she was scraping the bottom, and in a few minutes she was hard and fast. A tremendous sea was running into the bay, and the waves dashed over the ill-fated ship, sweeping everything movable on deck overboard. Officers, men and apprentices (21 in all) recognised that it was a matter of life and death with them, but no panic occurred. Lifebelts were served out, and an attempfrwas made to lannch. the boats, but the effort was not successful, the boats being knocked about so much, that, in a few minutes they were unfit for use. TAKING TO THE DIGGING. All on hoard then took to the mizzen rigging, the seas at that time breaking up as lar as the niizzentop. After remaining aloft for over an hour, the unfortunate l'ellows, thinking that the vessel would hold together, came on to the deck again, and made their way to the forecastle, and remained in it until half-past 2 a.m., protected from the seas aud blinding rain which had chilled them to the bones. About 2 o'clock the ship began to take a list to starboard, and in half an hour or so she was canted over so much that her, rail was under water, allowing the sea to break into the forecastle and almost wash out the shivering crowd which had taken refuge in it. The whole of the men and boys, with the exception of the captain, who clambered on to the jibboni, then sought refuge in the forerigging, and they remained there for about half-an-hour. THE VESSEL BBEAKING UP. The ship was then creaking and straining in a manner uhich made it evident to all on board that she was breaking up, and all saw that their chance of being able to stick to her until daj'break was very remote. Very soon tbe mizzeumast went by the board, and a few minutes afterwards the mainmast also went. Fearing that the foremast would soon follow suit, the hands rushed back to the deck and joined Captain Bremuer on the jibboom, which was about 150 yards off the beacji. After they had been there about' 20 minutes, during which time the after part of the ship had broken away, the jib-boom and the forecastle subsided into the water, and all were washed into the angry sea, which in the immediate vicinity of the spot where the Zuleika had struck was covered with floating cases of kerosene, axe handles, churns, and oijier portions of the New York cargo, together with spars and pieces of woodwork of the ship. A SWIM^OB LIFE. Many of the men were able to swim, and these at once struck out for the shore, on which the sea,was breaking with a deafening roar. Those ■who were unable to swim clung to pieces of wreckage, but were soon washed anay from them, aud several of them were drowned; Others who could swim were stunned by the cases which were being tossed about, and were washed ashore dead — battered and bruised almost beyond recognition. A NAEROYV ESCAXE. The second mate (Mr. William Lane), aged 21, who is a capital swimmer, was nearly rendered senseless by a knock from a floating case, and was about to throw up the sponge when he «iw the beach a few yards ahead, and giving a dozen strokes or so he was flung ashore more dead I nan alive. On collecting his senses Mr. Lane looked round, and seeing no one else about concluded that he was the only survivor. Presently, however, he saw one of the sailors (Peter Aukersen), who hud been swimming in his compan}', walking along the beach, and the two of them started off to search for a house. After going up a gully and finding no sign of life they lay down behind a bush protected from the keen wind, and rested for two hours. At daylight they made another search for a house, but again were unsuccesful and returning to the beach they came across the dead bodies of three A.B.'s— viz., Jones, Chas. Dawson and Blake, lying there, fully clothed and with life belts on. MOKE SURVIVORS. They then went further along the beach and came across a shepherd's wbare, in which they were delighted to find Captain Brernner, two of the apprentices, the carpenter, and three of the seamen, who had also reached the shore after hairbreadth escapes. These had been swept ashore within a few hundred yards of where tho whare stood, and were fortunate enough to find it stocked" with provisions. A fire was lighted, und some food prepared, and the survivors made themselves • » comfortable as they could under the ■iiTiimstances. Oa Sunday afternoon. Mr. Percy Drang.
field, who is employed on a sheep station, about six miles distant from the wreck, was on his way to the Cape Palliser Lighthouse (four miles from the wreck), when he found some dead bodies on the beach. On making a search he discovered the survivors in the hut. One of the station hands was sent away with a message to the police at Martinborough, 37 miles distant, and Messrs. J. Sinclair and Eraia, owners of the station, busied themselves in making the survivors as comfortable as possible. THE DROWNED MEN. Twelve men were drowned— viz., Herbert Graham, first mate, aged 28 ; George Petitite, steward, aged 28 ; Geo. Wilson, A.8., aged 66; Win. Swanson, A.8., aged 33; Chas. Lawson, A.8., aged 26; — Blake, A.8., aged 30 ; — Jones, A.8., aged 62 ; Walter Summers, apprentice, aged 17 ; — M'Kay, A.8., aged 20 (shipped at Port Chalmers, where his parents reside) ; — Gellon, A.8., aged 54 ; — Williams, cook, aged 27 ; and David^truock, apprentice, aged 18. All the bodies, with the exception of the three last named, were washed ashore. The only married men drowned were Wilson and Gellon. THE SUBVTVORS. Those who escaped are nine in number — namely, Captain Bremner, • William Lane (second mate), Adolphe Haverke (carpenter), William Lisson, Eugene Malven, Peter Ankerson, and William Kneen (A.B \»), Archibald Billett aud Thomas Carson (apprentices). WHERE THE VESSEL STRUCK. The wreck occurred in^aUisei; Bay about four miles from the lighthouse. There is a large flat several miles long abwe the beach, running out from which are numerous rocks that are submerged at high tide. The ship struck stem first, and all that remains of her above the water is a piece of the forecastle.' the iron plates of which are twisted out of shape. One of the yards is floating close by. The beach, which is composed of shingle, is strewn for two miles with battered kerosene tins, wooden cases, churns, mangles, axe handles, cases of axes, American lamps, spokes, and a few hundred tins filled with kerosene. The wreckage is not worth more than £50 or £60. THE TUTANEKAI. When Captain Fairchild reached Palliser Bay this morning in the Tutanekai he found the second mate of the Zuleika at Mr. Sinclair's station, and took him round to the scene of the wreck, \i here he will remain until the bodies are buried to-morrow. The Tutanekai, which came back to Wellington this afternoon for the purpose of getting coffins and taking down a clerg}'-' man, brought up the carpenter of the Zulieka, who has had several of -his ribs broken. This man has been shipwrecked four times. The other survivors (with the exception of the captain, who left overland for Wellington early this morniug) are coming up by the Tutanekai to-morrow. A PLUCKY BOY. The men who survived are loud in their praise of the pluck displayed by one of apprentices, Herbert Bellitt (son of i Captain Bellitt, of the ship Corelli, ! trading out of Liverpool), who, after j being washed back three times, went to tbe rescue of one of the sailors and pulled ! him out of the water. This was the lad's first voyage, and he says it will be the last. INQUEST. An inquest on the whole of the bodies was held at the homestead 3'esterday before Mr. J. P. Russell, J.P., of , the Wairarapa. A verdict of " Found Drowned " was returned. Constable May narrowly escaped being drowned crossing the flooded rivers on the way from Martinborough to the wreck.
Permanent link to this item
LATEST PARTICULARS., Evening Post, Volume LIII, Issue 93, 21 April 1897
LATEST PARTICULARS. Evening Post, Volume LIII, Issue 93, 21 April 1897
Using This Item
Fairfax Media is the copyright owner for the Evening Post. You can reproduce in-copyright material from this newspaper for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons New Zealand BY-NC-SA licence . This newspaper is not available for commercial use without the consent of Fairfax Media. For advice on reproduction of out-of-copyright material from this newspaper, please refer to the Copyright guide.