RESCUES BY AIR
United Tress Association—By Electric TeM»
(Received October 21, 2.30 p.m.)"
LONDON, October 20.
Aeroplanes and ships are still searching in the hope of finding further survivors from the Van der Wijck, whicli mysteriously capsized and sank in two minutes in the shark-infested Java Sea, between Surabaya and Samarang. There were 226 people on board, passengers and crew, of whom all except 34, including 14 Europeans, were saved. ,
The victims include the Dutch wireless operator, who stuck to. his post, sending out SOS calls. s The saved include 16 Europeans besides the commander, Captain Akkerman, all the officers, and the chief steward.
Captain Akkerman jumped at the last moment, when the vessel actually capsized, and swam for seven hours before he was rescued, saving a Dutch woman' and child by keeping thjeni afloat. ■, ' . . '
Oil from the vessel covered the sea and probably kept the sharks away,, a j they do-not like an oily. sea.
The cause of the disaster is believed to have been "a seaquake." Such, a phenomenon sometimes occurs in thJ Java Sea. -
Immediately the SOS call was-.re-ceived the Defence Department dispatched nine flying-boats and light naval craft. The flying-boats .saved 43 people, bravely risking collision with floating wreckage each time they landed on the sea. This is the first time these machines have been thus used. Native boats also effected rescues. . • ■ ' y