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WRECKED AT RUAPUKE.

THE SCHOONER ROSETTA

SMASHED TO PIECES

CREW'S MIRACULOUS ESCAPE

[Si'KcrA;. ro thk Stati.]

BLUFF. November 17.

Information has reached the Bluff of the wreck of the ex-Auckland auxiliary schooner Rosetta at Ruapuke Island during a terrific gale on Thursday afternoon. Details show that the vessel was smashed to pieces, and that there was nothing to be seen of her five minutes afterwards. Captain Bailey and his crew had a miraculous escape, and underwent the exciting experience in their dinghy of being lifted bodily on the crest of a breaker over a patch of iagged rocks and dumped down upon tho beach—snatched from an almost certain death.

—Springs a Leak.— The Rosetta left Chew Tobacco Bay on her return to Bluff at 4.10 a.m. on Wednesday with five tons ..f fish aboard. mostly telescope, pud a large portion was lyinu'on deck. The terrific cale which wnpVxperienrcd in the Bluff Inst Wednesday was encountered in all its severity by' the Rosetta. wbieh sprang a lenk on Bench Island. The water was making fast, and Captain Bailey {\ocU\p<} to make for Half Passage Rocks and beach the vessel. One of the crew (Sutton i set to work with a bm-ket nn<\ haled continuously, but. failed to make any _;uipression', the water steadily vising. . '.<- engine was soon flooded, and c>r.kl not be used, the water gradually mounting until the flywheel was : ovrred.

—Half Par-sage Rocks.-

Tho gale was a terrific one. and the waves were flving right over th" rocks of the group—a real smasher—and Captain Railev saw at once that it, w.-.s absolutely impossible to beach her there: in fact.'it was nil ho could do to <'inr the group with his water-logged vessel. Owing to the dek being . ovoro-.l with fish it was diflicuit, to got at tho pump. a ton and a-half having to bo sniffed before the pump >«<■'■ <l K ll ' -it. and after all their trouble it was found to bo choked, and could not bo worked. Captain Railov tried to get under the lee of Bird Isiand. between Half l'assagc Rocks and Ruapuke Isl-nd. but there, too. ho was fa-ed with an impossible proposition. They was nothing lett to do but to make Ruapuke. The Rosetta was now so water-logged that she would not answer her helm, and could only be steered bv lowering or raising her sails. The skipper had to resort to mnny ruses to alter his . ourse. parliculnrly whoti endeavoring to clear Half I'assagn Rooks, because it would have been fatal to jibe with ihe vessel in the position it was. --Baling Out.—• Slowlv she apprn-<ohod Ruapuke Island, Sutton "and Captain Bailey baling alternately, and although not reducing the, inflow.' which could be seen bubbling up from the storboarJ side, it chocked the rapidity of the rising water. Owing_ to the (li'lticulty of maintaining iinythinulike a proper course, the Rosetta could not finite 'make Henrietta Bay. us itwould' have taken n iibe to have taken her in. Consequently Captain Bailey had to run his .raft into the more exposed nit. iiorago of Caroline Bay. arriving by 0.15 a.m. Before attempting to beach tho vessel Captain Bailey decided _ to- try to fix up the pump, and so save the risk of beaching on a somewhat rocky shore. Fortunately the obstruction was removed, and the pump was got going, not a moment too soon. At Ruapuke two anchors were put out. and th" Rosetta hung on gamely, while the pump slowly checked and finally gained on the water. Bv the afternoon th" water had been elcpred out. but th" leak miiU not bo located, and pumping had to be continued every h:df hour. Owing to the gale, and the ...oaking the engine had received there was nothing to bo done but leave the Rosetta where she was. hanging gamely on. F.verything possible was done to drv the engine siiffi- . ienliv to get a turn out of it. but_ it was all to no purpose. In the evening a drv .oil was used, and with its aid a spark was obtained, but no kick. However, it was too kite in tho evening to shift, and the crew stayed aboard, keeping an anchor watch and the pump going all night. --Anchors Tarted.--On Thursday morning tho end came. Captain Bailey' had just come up on deck from the engine room at 11.45. when he suddenly saw one of tho cables part, while the other dragged fast. At first all hands tried to ease her towards Sandy Patch by shifting from the port to the starboard ta<-k. but the wind and swell were too solid for them, and she quickly drifted towards a rugged group of semi-submerged rooks. - Miraculous r>;ipe.— Tho crew took to the dinghy, and they were hard pushed to save themselves. Thoy were unable to reach a safe landing, and' saw themselves drawn towards a number of rocks, oyer which the breakers wore irashing. They gave themselves up for lost, but wisely clung to their seats in the dinghy. A huge wave picked them up and whipped the dinghy lik'e a cork on its crest clean over the rooks, and dumped' it and its occupants down on to the beach. Waist deep in the backwash, and marvelling at their good fortune, thev wasted no time in scurrying to safety on terra firma. soaked to torskin, and very grateful for their miraculous deliverance. —Bashed to Bits.— From, their vantage they witnessed a minute later the end of the poor old Rosetta. Sho crashed, broadside on. right on tho the jagged ro. ks. then eapsi/ed. and in a few niiuut.es the relentless waves pounded her to pieces. Tier masts snapped off halfway, and sails, rigging, nets, and all her do'-k fittings came ashore in a hopelessly inextricable mass. The Rosetta herself came ashore in pieces about 2ft in length. That will give some idea of the battering she received. Her keel came ashore first. Hc-r valuable engine was broken into pieces. The flywheels muld not In- found anywhere, and ono of the crow, as humorously ns ho could under the --in umstances. vouchsafed that tbev " must- lie going yet." The piigino hed. a weighty affair, was carried a quarter of a mile away from tho site of tho wroek. giving some idea of the force of the swoil. All the eopper was stripped off tho pieces of timber by the pounding of the woodwork on the rocks. The crow saved nothing, and they are all at serious loss. Ca.ptain Bailov. in particular, having just taken on board a now outfit The sails and rigging had also just been renewed, and. as there wus no insuiaine whatever both the owners and the crow are heavy losers over tho unfortunate business. History of the. Rosetta.— Tho Rosetta. was hniit in 1896 hv Bailey and Sons lAuckland) for tho South Sea pearling industry. She was built of kauri, with n special sheer deck, and all the joists were strongly bolted to the ribs. 'The tonnage was 23. and her draught 7ft 3in. She was not destined to go to the South Seas, and after a. few years' coastal service tho schooner came South and entered the fish-carrying trade at Stewart Island 12 years ago. In 1907 she was purchased by Crockett and Co.. in whose service sho was at the time of the wreck. Ten years ago she was eugined and fitted with a 6 h.p. automatic engine. This year her owners spent £l2O in'making the' craft ns good as new. —Previous Wrecks. — Ruapuke Island has heen the scene of many wrecks, but the. loss of life has been comparatively small. I>ast November the fine new 'fishing launch Iris left Ruapuke for Bluff, and was never heard of again. Four lives were Jost. In 1894 the schooner Crest of the Wave foundered at Pvuapuke. with all hands. Several cutters have been lost, at Caroline Bay at different times —namely, the Annie Marv, Brilliant. Rosanna. Jane, Alarm, and'Deveron. The s.s. Lily Denhnm. a small coastal steamer, foundered in the strait in 1883 a few miles of Ruapuke, while bound from Dunedin to Bluff. Her crew were rescued. The most important of the Ruapuko mishaps occurred in 1904, when H.M.S. Elizabeth Henrietta.

a brig in the service of the New South Wales Government, was driven ashore in what has ever after been known as Henrietta Bay. She was not very seriously damaged, and H.M.S. Teea was sent to try to float her, but failed, and gave up the task, believing it to be hopeless. In April a Sydney trader, the Mermaid, happened to call, and on his return to Sydney the skipper reported that he saw ni> reason why the brig should not be refloated, but he was laughed at. Determined to give effect to his opinion, he revisited Ruapuke in August, and the Mermaid, under own sail, succeeded in salvaging the stranded brig.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD19141117.2.12

Bibliographic details

WRECKED AT RUAPUKE., Issue 15652, 17 November 1914

Word Count
1,481

WRECKED AT RUAPUKE. Issue 15652, 17 November 1914

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