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Ships and the Sea.

~:o: WRECK OF A FRENCH SHIP. Captain Sevin, the master of tho fine French ship Haudaudine, which was recently totally lost off the coast of New Caledonia, together with Mr Defoux, the chief officer,, Mr Vessieres, second officer, and 22 members of the crew, arrived at . Sydney on the 29 January from Noumea j \ by the Messageries Maritimes Company's . j steamer Pacifique. The Haudaudine ar- } rived at New Caledonio from Yokohama, f having .made the voyage in ballast, and . loaded 3042 tons of nickel ore from the Katavite mines at Kone, for Rotterdam. According to the narrative's of the castaways, tlie Haudaudine met her doom \ within a. few hours, after leaving port. The vessel was towed from Kone clear of the reefs by the steamier St. Pierre on 3rd January, and then set said for her homeward voyage. There was a fresh breeze when the tug loft her, but towards sunset the wind died away completely. The Haudaudine was thus becalmed off a treacherous coast, and she was carried by a strong current in the , direction of th a » outer reefs between Cape Goulvain and Contrnrites, or Porondu Island. Considerable alarm was manifested by ' those on board when it became apparent . that the current was carrying the fine ship to certain destruction, but the officers and crew were poAverless to alter her course. Soundings were taken at intervals of every few n\inutes, and an unfathomable depth was found just before the vessel struck. The master, however, was aware of the treacherous character .if the coast, and knew that soundings gave very little indication of the nature of the bottom. Suddenly the Haudaudine touched :i reef bows on, and swerved round, her stern bumping heavily several times on tho submerged- obstruction. Water commenced to find its way into the vessel, and within the space of three hours the ship had settled down by the stern. Captain Sevin then gave orders for the boats to bo provisioned and launched. "These lifeboats were quickly swung out from the davits, and the officers and crew and three passengers abandoned the vessel and directed a course for the shore. The castaways . shortly ■ afterwards noticed that, ilia Haudaudine had a pronounced list to port, and .eventually the vessel completely heeled over on the reef, even her starboard side being submerged. The boats' crew safely reached Port Moneo and Bourail on the following morning. A subsequent visit to the scene of thi mishap disclosed the fact that tlie vessel was a total loss. It was ascertained that she was lying her port side on the reef, with 7ft or water over her starboard side. Nothing was saved from the wreck, the officers, men, and passengers losing all their personal effects. Tlie weather wa3 fine, and the sea smooth at the time of the disaster, but it is anticipated that when heavy weather makes it apppearance the vessel . a will quickly break up. It is undestood that the ship was insured >n France. The Haudaudine was a new and large French barque, built of steel in 1902 at St. Nazaire. She was a vessel of 2393 tons gross, and of 1734 tons net, her principal dimensions being : — Length, 281 ft lin >-:breadth,- 40ft; and depth, 22ft 7in. She was owned by the Society Anonyme des Armateurs, Nantais.

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Ships and the Sea., Grey River Argus, 24 February 1905

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Ships and the Sea. Grey River Argus, 24 February 1905