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OFFICIAL ENQUIRY INTO THE LOSS OF THE EXCELSIOR.

At ai) official enquiry into the eircumfctanceiof tlie wreck of t}ie schooner Excel- "' sior, held by D. Johnston, Esq., the evidence pf '{lie, captain arid mate of the schooner; of the captain, mate, and engineer of the Persevere,' arid of the Harbor" Master, and the signnlmaster xvas taken. x -* ' '. Captain Coulson, the Harbof Master, was first examined',' and he gave it as his opinion that tlio- wreck was occasioned by. rare in^ ' sufficiency <>f tlie power of the tug. When he first saw the -schooner she had her sails set ; when she got into' the break" of the bar ■ the towline parted, and-the vessel drifted on to the beach. He thought that the mate of the steamer used every effort in order to stop' the" drifting of the sckogner, and that ' ' "iheinastcr of tlie schooner could not have ' done more than he did to saye hi 3 vessel. •The schooner made for the bar at the top of high water. ' When she attemptpd to take ithe baf s"be was on the strainer's weather nuariier. Had the towline beencut she then she might haye' got to sea again, or else -■'entered lihe river safely. Captain Iwerson; master, of the Excebior, stated that Ke hoisted signals for a tug at 11 p'clopk on Wednesday, .morning, and the -Persevere came alongside, and. tcok t the ' *ycssel" iii 'tow. ' First found' %c vessel in danger when outside 'the br^k, by her touching the ground. He'then set the maiusail to get her more up' to windward.- The tide was setting strongly to the southward, and the tug" had no power io get the vessel to tne^n'orfchwarcl. Believed that the tug took the grouiitl, 'and that' thpu the captain cut the tow-rope. ..The vessel>'then. drifted on to the beach! When the tow-rope was cut, he tried to ; get put again, but the vessel would riot stay," on account of their being no way on,her.''. He considered^ the cause of the schooner's : gbirig ask>re : f -as- the insufficient ijower ot tiie tug. - ' , _. „ Sauinel 'PLilh'ps, mate of. the Excelsior, stated that when the line" was thrown from the- tug, the steamer drifted astern of the schooner before they could ' make fast. The schooner then let the line go, slipped .anchor, and failed after the steamer. Came up again to get the rope aboard. When close ;to the bar, the tide was setting very strong tp the c'outhvrarcV, aiul when on"the bar shegrounded pn the outer spit.' They then hoisted the ' mainsail, trying to make for the channel, but -. ihe vessel made little way." They were inside ihe main channel when the- tow-rope parted, and the. vessel was. fhen afloat. When' they tried to ■wear the ..vessel would neither wear nor stay. Did not think that when ..they struck on the outer spit they could have got to" sea again if the tcw-line had been cut. ' Captain M'Meikanj master- of the stea.ni-. tug Persevere, stated that when he went to • the schooner he dnl not consider the sea too heavy for taking the bar. When he got alongside the schooner. the current was -running strong to the southward, tind a'strpng ■northerly breeze vras^ blowing. They copld iipt manage tp haul* the line on board the schooner, and she slipped her anchor, and. failed after the Uig and t<:olt the rope aboard. tdljl tHcni to niakc nil tail ami 'to keep

to windward -as fat as possible ; but instead s 'of setting the afyjr-sail they set the headsail,', caused her to drift -to leeward. Af tej. they Jgpj; into the brea^ *hey attempted \1: ■t> hoist iihe maiiisarl^ but could not succeed! y Woperly. " The result was thjit the schooner j jUauledthe tug go far to the south that it wastl € i npossible to make headway agiiust the sea s 'aud current. "Witness .then cutTthe tow rope, i , the scliooner being in the channel between j t it ie beach an V tlie outer break. Theschooner ■ i would not wear. The tng grounded before * the tow rope was cut, and th? s jhooner went 1 ■ r^horc. Hesr going ashore was caused by the s heavy current and N sea ; nothing more could , have' b-ien done tp save the vessel. - ',! The mate of the Persevere corroborated the 1 evidence of .Captain M'Mecka,n. ' " • f The signal . master at the flagstaff stated . that the bar was' favorable "and a good ' cHannel at the time in question, but the i t Reamer could not get to windward, ani the , -schooner also jeoulduoi do so. The schooner * went to. the 'windward of the steamer, and if ~i the rope had been cut the, .schooner could j have got safely into, 'the river; When the 1 1 steamer went out the weather was not favor- i able for taking a vessel in tow. The schooner ( • could have gailed in safely, the -wind being , from the north-west. The -jcanse „of the , 1 schooner gofngashojio was the insutficieiit! f power pi the tugboat. " . ! i

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/GRA18660920.2.3.5

Bibliographic details

OFFICIA'L ENQUIRY INTO THE LOSS OF THE EXCELSIOR., Grey River Argus, Issue 108, 20 September 1866

Word Count
834

OFFICIA'L ENQUIRY INTO THE LOSS OF THE EXCELSIOR. Grey River Argus, Issue 108, 20 September 1866

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