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A SURPRISE PARTY.

SAVED AFIER EIGHT MONTI'S THE HINEMOA TO THE RESCUE. THIRTEEN DEATHS. WRECK OF THE SHIP DUNDONALD. THE N.Z. FOOD DEPOT. [per press association.] Invercargill, Dec. 1. Tho Hinemoa has arrived at the Bluff having on board 15 survivors from the ship DundQiiald, which was wrecked on Disappointment Island in March last. Twelve of the crew, including the master, wero drowned. The chief mate, Jabez Peters, died on the island. The ship was bound to Falniouth from Sydney,wheat-laden. All the survivors are well. THE QUICK AND THE DEAD. Survivors are:— McLoughlin (second mate), Knmlsen, Harry Walters, Alf Finlow, Jno. Judge, Santiago Marine, Jno. Punhohe, Herriman Querfelt, Chas. EEy e (A.B.'s) ; Robert Ellis, Adelaide; Jack Stewart, Waikato; Jno. G rattan, Michael Paul, Arthur Ivimey (ordinary seaman), Jabez Roberts (cabin boy). The drowned were Captain Thornburn and his son James, Wm. Smith (steward), Tlios. Crawford (sailmaker), Edward Lee (carpenter), Walter Low, Sam Watson, Carl Anderson, Holder-sen, Immanuel Largerboloom, Naveahi, James Cromarty. FINDING THE CASTAWAYS. Mr Crosby Smith supplied the following particulars, including his notes of Chas. Eyre's story: — On arrival of expedition in Port Ross, at Auckland islands, early on the morning of Saturday, the 15th November, great excitement was caused when, on sighting the Government depot, it was noted that a white flag was flying at half-mast in token of the presence of a shipwrecked crew. As Captain Bollons, in the Hinemoa's boat, approached the depot a cheer went up from at least a dozen men who were congregated there and was answered from the Hinemoa. After a very short delay Captain Bollons returned followed by five of the strangers in the depot boat — the second mate (Mr McLaughlin), third mate (Mr Knudsen), Harry Walters, Chas. Eyre, and another. HOW THE WRECK OCCURRED. From the crew it was gleaned that the four-masted barque Pimdonakl. of 2000 tons, left Sydney on the 17th February, bound for Falmouth, laden with wheat. She carried a crew of 27, all told, in addition to whom the captain's son, a lad of sixteen, who was not in good health. Contrary winds were met with all the way, and a great disturbance of the compass had been noticed half-way between Sydney and the Auckland Islands. At 12.30 a.m. on Bth March, the ship struck on a reef on the west side of Disappointment Island, of the Auckland group. The night was thick with half a gale blowing, and the reef was not seen until immediately before the ship struck. An effort was made to wear ship, but it was too late and she was driven stern first right into a crevice in the cliff, which towered up 300 feet above her. A NIGHT OF HORROR. lv a few minutes the fore part of the ship dropped into the sea, which caused a huge wave to wash along the deck, carrying in one sweep eleven men, who were never seen again. Amongst these were the captain and his son. The rest of the crew hung to various fixtures, and when the wave had gone by, rushed up the rigging. Three men got ashore from the jigger mast, but one of the men slipped back over the cliff and met his death. While the men were on the islands two ships passed them, the first in July and the other later on, but the castaways could not attract their attention as the vessels were a considerable distance •Jfc' f f AN 4|?s STOUY. Suddenly, irrfliick weather, at 12.30 a.m. on the Bth, land was seen right ahead. Wo tried to wear ship short round, but she would not stay, and went stern first into a crevice in the cliffs. Orders were given to clear the lifeboats, but it was found to be useless as there was a big sea and rocks all round us. The captain ordered us to put on our lite-belts. The steward gave up all hope of saving himseil, and said, "It's good-bye, boys. 1 urn too bad to get ashore." He went into his cabin, shut the door, and soon after compressed air blew up the deck. The mate told us to get under the forecastle head, as the ship must !;© dismasted. We were there two or three minutes when she started shipping seas. One tremendous sea washed clean over us, and although we all managed to hang on the next one washed us all away. I was whirled round and round. 1 caught hold of the foot of the foc'sle, but was instantly torn away. 1 then caught hold of one of the shrouds, and climbed up. John Judge iolknved me to the fore-top-gallant yard. As it canted towards the shore we thought it was touching the cliff, but found it to be about 16 feet away. We were going to try to swing ashore on the end of a rope, but found the rope was too short. Unfortunately, we had dropped the only knife we had, and could not cut enother rope to lengthen it. We spent the night up there and heard many distressing cries around us. About an hour before daylight we began to climb down to the foretop, and found about 12 men there, including the first and second mates. The mate told us to prepare for the worst, as the mast could not stand much longer. He thought we had better cut a few lines as we mignt be able to help one another ashore. Taking the mate's knife 1 went up again and cub away some of the running gear. Suddenly 1 heard a voice from the shore opposite and found it to be Michael Poole, a Russian Finn. I cut one of the top-sail bunt lines, threw it to him, and we made it fast at both ends. By this means we all managed to get ashore. The cliff was about 300 feet high, and at the point just above the mast was a very steep slope which allowed us to climb up with comparative ease. There were 16 of us out of 28 who got ashore. The others were washed away when the big sea swept the ship. We now learned that the first man ashore, Walter Low, called out to pass a rope ,but before this could be done he slipped over the cliff into the sea and was never seen again. We were all very much exhausted, being very hungry and cold. When in the topgallant yard, the mate told 'us there was a depot on the island. Later on we discovered there was no depot on the island. This was a great disappointment to the mate, who along with the second mate had been seriously ill from exposure. We never expected the second mate to recover, but he gradually got better. THE MATE DIES. The mate, however, after finding he was not on the main Auckland Island was disheartened. He sank rapidly and died on the twelfth day after the wreck. He was over 60 years of age. By this time we had discovered that we were on Disapsointment5 ointment Island. After the mate's eath we shifted over to the eastern side of the island because the water where we struck was very bad. The first day after getting ashore we ate raw molly hawkes. Th« matches amongst us were wet and it was three days before we could get them dry. When we once got a fire going we banked it up, and kept it alight for seven months. Until May we covered ourselves up with canvas we got from the ship before she disappeared, but snow and hail came on and we started to dig holes in the ground with our hands. About the holes we built up sticks and put sods on top forming huts about six feet long and four feet wide. We managed to scrape through the winter all right by living on sea hawks, Molly hawks, and peals. When we saw the seals first bobbing up on the water we thought we had got the sea serpent all right. We did not know how to kill them at first, we used to whack them on the back with a stick, but one of the fellows happened to hit one of them on the nose, and it rolled over, so after thjaAwe hadno difficulty in deBpttwbing ttifep. In w& beginning

we used to cook everything by putting it on the flames, but afterwards I we made a mud oven, and cooked food on a spit. BUILDING A CANVAS BOAT. We knew the depot was on the other island about six miles distant, so it was decided to build a canvas boat. We had cut up our clothes for sails and blankets; we had scarcely any clothes on when we goa ashore from the ship. In July three men built a boat oi canvas and sticks. To do this we had to put in pieces of our clothes and blankets and sew them together, and the task was all ! the harder as the sailmaker and car- [ penter were both drowned. We seived with a small bone from one of : the birds, with a hole bored in it, ; and used a little bit of wire we had. ; On 31st July a start was made in the ! boat for the mainisland which we reached all right, but as they could not find the depot they came back on tho 9th August. They had six matches with them and used four while over there. A second boat was built in September, and another party 6tart- : ed for the main island, but the boat was smashed by the sea before it could get away. We built a third one in October and started again—Knudsen, Walters, Gratton and myself. We got over to the large island but as we reached the shore we struck a rock and the boat was smashed, sending us all into tho" water. Wo scrambled ashore again but the mishap put out a fire which we carried in the boat on a sod in order to save our two matches. These got wet and even after drying them for three days we could not get them alight. FINDING THE DEPOT. On the fourth morning we started in search of the depot, and after walking across the island and about 15 miles through the bush and scrub we etruck right on it. There was a good boat at the depot, but no sails, so we cut up our clothes to make a sail, so that we could return to Disappointment Island for the rest. On the next day we tried to sail round for them, but the weather was too bad and we had some difficulty in returning to the depot. On the following day we made another start and got there about three o'clock. We had found clothes at the depot and exchanged them for what we were wearing and we had also cut each others' hair and beards, which during the seven months had grown so long that we looked like a lot of spring poets. As we got nearer our old camp, our mates did not know us in our now toggery, and thought we. were sealers. The next morning we put half the men ashore where we first landed with the canvas boat, and left them to make their way over to the depot. Then we took the sjecond officer and the cithers round to the depot. We had been seven months on Disappointment Island. We saw from a piece of paper that the Tutanekai had been there on the Ist February and that some other Government boat would call in about six -months, so we were on the look out for a boat every day after we got to the depot. You can imagine our dojight when we saw the Hint Imoa. After talking with the castaways, Captain Bollone supplied them with some additional stores and told them ho would call for them on his return from the Bounty and Campbell Islands in 10 or 12 days. THE LAST SAD RITES. At 5.30 in the inorniug of the 28th Captain Bollons weighed anchor in Port Ross, and steamed for Disappointment Island, to land the members of the expedition for a few hours. They saw the frame of the canvas boat first built. A more rugged structure could not be imagined, it was all elbows and knees. It was built of veronica elliptica, which rarely has two feet of straight wood in it. The wondor is that the men had sufficient patience and ingenuity to build it at all, and how such a boat reached it« destination, propelled by oars made of forked sticks, with canvas tied round them, is a miracle. Four of the castaways went over the hill to their first ean.p to exhume the remains of the mate. This took a couple of hours. About 4.30 two boats put off from the Hinemoa containing all the passengers and the ships' company, which landed to attend the funeral. The party numbered about 60. Tho service was a most impressive one. The captain read the Anglican Church funeral service, and the body enclosed in a sea chest was lowered to its last resting place by the second and third mates of the Dundonald * _ _

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/FS19071202.2.19

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A SURPRISE PARTY., Feilding Star, Volume II, Issue 435, 2 December 1907

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2,219

A SURPRISE PARTY. Feilding Star, Volume II, Issue 435, 2 December 1907

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