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REPORTED LOSS OF THE P.S. CITY OF DUNEDIN.

Towards the end of last week, various rumors vrere afloat here, that the City of Dunedin had been lost on her passage f i om Dunedin to Hokitika. Tt was reported that a number of articles belonging to her, and particularly a ctvsk of pitch, known to havo been shipped on board, had been identified. The intelligence since received has but strengthened the reports, and we fear that the fact is beyond dispute. This bout, a fine iron vessi 1 of 463 tons (Boyd, master), is the property of Messrs Jones and Co., and has been engaged in the coasting trade for nearly two years. She can be traced fiom the time she left Dunedin on her voyage, to her departure from Wellington. She left Dunedin on the 14th ult., with the chief part of her cargo for Lyttelton, and small consignments for Wellington, Nelson, and Hokitika. The vessel arrived at Lyttelton on the 17th, and having discharged her cargo, proceeded on her yoyago to Wellington the same day, aniving at that port on the 19th. She sailed from that for Nelson on the 20th, which is the last intelligence we have of her. The Wellington Correspondent of the "Daily Times," sayi, of date 29th :— " It is my painful duty toinform you that there is little doubt but that the City of Dunedin steamer has been totally wrecked and all hands lost. She left here about 4 o'clock on Saturday afternoon, the 20th itist., bound for Nelson and Hokitika, with a light southerly wind blowing, and it is supposed must have hugged the shore so closely in rounding Cape Terawiti, as to have struck on one of the several rocks that exist there. There is a "rip " close to Terawiti, which would sadly interfere with any efforts that may have been made to escape by the boats, and, judging from the few fra«nnents that have come on shore, the vessel must have broken up rapidly and the debris been driven through the Strait; Nelson way. What number of passengers were on board is not known ; she had, perhaps, twenty from the South, but the only one from here, that I can learn about, was the Rev. Mr Driscoll, a Roman Catholic Priest. The portions that floated toward the Heads of this harbor are exceedingly small, but indicate that the fittings of thb ill-fated vessel were of painted maple. A mahogany binnacle stand, with 11 David Heron, Glasgow," was recognised by Captain Kennedy as that of a steamer with which he was familiar, and it has since been identified by Captain Johnson and others as that of the City of Dunedin. Mr. Seed, of the Customs, found at Terawita, a cushion belonging to a sofa, of green plush, and a shirt with the name of " B. Macdonald." A part of a letter from one "Roman Catholic Priest to another has been picked up, as has also a cask of pitch addressed to the " steamer Favorite, Hokitika." A passenger by the Airedale, who is waiting to join the Favorite, tells me that this pitch was shipped at your port in the City of Dunedin ; he saw the captain taking it off in his own boat. We have dates from Nelson up to Tuesday, the 23rd, and the City had not arrived there then. She might have gone to the Hokitika first, but as, after leaving the Strait she would have a foul wind, it is not very likely that she proceeded thither. It would be cruel to the friends of passengers by her to assume the worst without sufficient grounds, but all the nautical men with whom I have conversed express no doubt about the wreck having been followed by the loss of all on board ; otherwise we should have heard of the survivors before now. The pilot has examined Wellington Heads, the Collector of Customs has ridden over to Terawiti, hut no thorough search has, I am sorry to say, been made by the Marine Board, or whomever else the duty devolves upon." The steamer William Miskin, which arrived at Port Chalmers on 4th inst., brings intelligence which must be received as corroborating the belief that the steamnr City of Dunedin has been totally lost ; and she has also news of the supposed loss of ketch Blue Bell, from Dunedin, with all hands on board. When the William Miskin arrived at Nelson, Captain Hepburn met the person who had found the binnacle supposed to have belonged to the steamer City of Dunedin. He was shown a draft of the binnacle, and from his knowledge af it, he had no hesitation in saving that it was the binnacle of that vessel, as to the fate of wtich there can now scarcely be a doubt The steamer Otago was at Nelson, and would shortly follow, calling at Wellington, from which port there will, in all probability, be received tome further particulars af to the wreck, and the almost certain fate of the crew. The City of Dunedin left Port Chalmers on the 14th of last month with a moderate cargo and a number of passengers for Lyttelton, Wellington, Nelson and Hokitiki. The passengers who were booked for the two latter ports, and who would of course be on board after her departure from Wellington, were Mrs Macartney, «nd Mr R. Henry, of the firm of Messrs Henry and Co., of this citv, booked for Hokitika, and Miss Baxter, Mr M'Coll, Mr Barron, booked for Nelson. Mr Frederick Greer wa» also on baarrl, tut lie is -uncWutnod to h.we taken passage at Lyttelton bv the steamer Otago. As passengeis nre occasionally in the habit of going on board the steamers at Port Chalmers without booking themselves at the agents' offices, it is probable that there may have been a few more on board whose names are not known. The following are the names of the passengers reportrd by the Lvettiton papers as having joined her at that port. For Hokitika:— Mr Bishop and Mr Johnson. For Nelson: — Mr M'Laren. Steerage passengers— Mrs Briggs, D. Doukay, H. Dawson, J. Bartell, Mr and Mrs Moody, Mrs M'Laren, J. M'Lean, J. Howe, and R. Crawford. It is also believed that Mr John Beswick, of Tiinaru, was on board as a passenger, having decided, shortly before the departure of the steamer, to proceed to Hokitika. The crew and offiicers numbered 25. Captain Boyd, well and favorably known on this coast, being in command, Mr M'William being chief officer, Mr D. M 'Donald, chief engineer, Mr Alexander Campbell, carpenter, and Miss Mackay, itewardess, Mr Archibald Weir, at present commanding a imall coaster, called the Streamlet, remembered the binnacle, bv a secret spring there was on it, and which he aid not discover before he was six months in the veiiel, and then only by its being pointed out to him by a man who came from Glasgow in her. The skylight he identifies by a portion of it being broken, irtiicli was done while the vessel was on her way to or from Melbourne. The rudder he said was made at Ijttelton, and it was too large, and a pi*ce of the head is peculiar and partly broken. Captain Blair (of the Ski Serpent) and Captain Campbell (of the Esther), both very steady and experienced men, went out with Mr Weir, and it is their opinion that, if the worst has happened, the accident occurred off Sinclair Head, the swell naving- possibly driven the vessel closer to the land than w»s supposed by those on board. On one occasion the Prince Alfred had a. narrow escape under what we may assume to be somewhat similar circumstances, but she had the benefit; of daylight, and the Captain was able to •xtricate her."— Daily Times.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/NOT18650608.2.13

Bibliographic details

REPORTED LOSS OF THE P.S. CITY OF DUNEDIN., North Otago Times, Volume IV, Issue 68, 8 June 1865

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1,302

REPORTED LOSS OF THE P.S. CITY OF DUNEDIN. North Otago Times, Volume IV, Issue 68, 8 June 1865

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