FEARFUL LOSS BY FIRE OF THE SHIP FIERY STAR.
I'ROBABLK LOSS OF SKYKN'TY LTYKS. It is bin seldom that we have to chronicle the lo?s o'' eueh a noble and magnificent ship as the Fierv -Star. The painful intelligence of this sad catastrophe reached us yesterday morning by the arrival of the ship Dauntless, Captain Moore, from London, which vessel brings up the chief olli Tr, Mr. S-irgent, an 1 17 olliers, who were taken from the burning ship oil' the East Cape, only a few hours before she disappeared The captain and several others abandoned her and look to tlio boats, a few hours after the lire broke out. Captain Sargent. /,n, 1n,,, who is still on ho;i.nl th, . Dauntless, has obligingly supplied us wiih full details of the e.-.nfi.igration, from which it will bo seen that the sutlerings of the survivors have been very great, and that, a number who left the ship in the boats are supposed to bay.; been lost, as the weather was very rough and boisterous shortly after the boats sailed.
The Fiery Star was one of th:il great fleet- of full built flipper ships formerly hailing from the North Eastern States of America, whi.-h the continuation of that never ending strife raging between the Northern and .Southern States, seems doomed to turn into the bunds of foreign owners. Of that fleet one of the finest ships was the "omef, of New York, which subsequently became the Fiery Star, of London, when she hoisted tho British Knsign in the Blade Hall line of .Messrs. .Tames Hairies and Co., of Liverpoo', and Messrs. T. M. Mackay and Co., of London. These. linns have for some time conducted thi! Government emigration agency for (Juoen-land, ami in that service the Fiery Star sailod from Dublin for Jlorelon l!ay in September lust. On her arrival out i-ho was laid »n tho berth and loaded up for Liverpool. JSuilt at New York, she was in every respect H n.,1,1e ve.s-.;l Ncu- Y,, r k built ships h,armg in tlm Kastern States the same high relative valun to lluise of other Ainfricun ports."a* tho " riv.-r bnilf , ships of tho Thames bear to those of KlikMs f, r the Tyno. Ifer classification wijs the l.igbuol giver, in friMich Lloyd's, registering IIJUO tu.w. Wo nev L -r had ;l ~l Or u deplorab!,: loss of sin-h j aline ship to record. To many of our readers her commander, Captain \V. IJnntcr Yule, will he well known, having made many friends in Auckland on the occasion of tho first visit of the City ..f MmChester to this port, when she brought a cargo of wheat from Adrh.id* about thn'e yr.irs ago. T!ie J-'i-ry Star sailed from Mon-ton I'.av, Qu-ms-land, or. the l,t ot April, hound for Liverpool with a full valuible of wool, hides, tallow, Ac , and a large number of passengers. Onthul7thdayo.it she appe-irs to have i-ncouatored a severe gate, which earried'au-ay two of h.-r boats. At tho ti111•; tho disaster oc(ur.-(l, on the l'Jth April, slie was run.linbefore the wind with a twolv.-kni.t ee, be:, g then in latitude 4lj ~ lu' S., longitude 170 D \V. The first person to discover tho fire was one of the crew named Adams, who, upon observing smoke issuing fi-om the fore part of the ship, immediately acquainted Captain Yule of the, circumstance. Cpon the fore-hatch being taki-n oil , the smoke aseendi-d in clouds, Jn an instant all Imnds were summoned ti
the pumps, and although the crew, under their officers wero prompt and vigorous in thnir exertions to batten down and secure every hatchway, the flamee broke out through the port bow on the following day. The passengers and crew had been employed pumping water below throughout the previous day nnd night, hoping to extinguish the firo ; but tho gas and steam had now reached the cabin, and tho Captain, thinking there was no chance of saving tho ship, ordered all the boats to be got ready. At about seven o'clock on the 20tli, tlio Captain, moat of tho crew, and all the passengers, with the exception of ono, left the burning; ship, in four boats, leaving on board tho chief officer, Mr. Sargent, and seventeen others, who had volunteered to remain on board, tbero not being sufficient room on board in tho boats. Captain Yule took with him the chronometers, charts, eextant and compasses of tho ship, leaving tho chief officer with no means to navigate tho ship. Mr. Sargent gave orders for tho boats to lay by tho sido of the ship all night, but on the following morning they wero not to be seen. Captain Sargent protein then took command, nnd those
on board at ones set to work and got under way tho stoam pumps. They succeeded in cheeking the Iliimos. All tho blankets, clothes, fcc, that could e found in the ship wero used to block up the holes forward, and the steam-pumps kept going constantly. On the 2lst they succeeded in getting down below, where they found a compass, chart &c. In the afternoon some of tho hands were engaged in building a raft with tho sparo spars, which they completed in three days. On the 24th they discovered threo feet of water in "the hold, and the men had to work at tho pumps every two hours, until they were picked up by tho Dauntless. On tho 25th about a dozen pigs went mad and had to be killed On tho 4th May they encountered a heavy gale, which continued for several days, causing tho ship to labor heavily, making much water at times. After 21 days in such a deplorablo condition, she made tho land off New Zea'and, and at 10 p.m. all were much relieved by sighting a vessel on tho lee bow, which afterwards proved to be tho Dauntless, from London, bound to Auckland, in latitude ?.1 ° 5" S., longitude 175 ° 42 °' E. Captain Mooro, on hearing the sad news, at onco despatched a boat with provisions to the distressed ship, and afterwards sent a lifo boat to stand by her until the- following morning, when Captain Mooro himself visited the Fiery Star, and upon going below with C a tnin Sargent, discovered that the foremast was much burnt, and would be unable to carry any more sail. Captain Mooro then offered Captain Sargent and his men a passage in his ship if the}' would leavo her. which they did with tho advice of Captain Moore, arriving in Auckland yesterday. The noblo ship disappeared at 10 p.m. tho same evening, only n frw hours after they had abandoned her. Capt. Sargent and tho men under him are deserving of the highest praise for their brave anil gallant conduct in clinjing to the ship so long, and undergoing the hardships which they had to contend with. A word of commendation is also due to Captain Mooro, who was undoubtedly the moans of sitving them from a watery grave, and ■vYlio behaved so kind to them during the siiort time they were on board of his ship. Wo foriret to mention that shortly after tho boats loft tho ship, conveying the captain and passengers, Ihr? Fiery Star encountered some heavy weather, and it was feared the boats would not reach Chatham Islands, the place where they wero steering for. Her Majesty's steamship Brisk leaves tho harbour at 10 a.m. this morning for Chatham Is-
land*, and upon her return to this port we shall probably be placed in possession of the fate of those who left in the boats. We iiov? refer our readers to the following extracts from the log book of Captain Saxgent, which will give fuller particulars of the unfortunate catastrophe : — On the Ist April sailed from Moreton Bay bound to Liverpool, with a full cargo of wool, hides, and tallow, and a large number of passengers. On the IKb April was oil" the south end of New Zealand. During a heavy gale we encountered on the 17th of the same month, two of our boats wero carried away, leaving us with four only. On the lltth, when in'lat. 45 deg. 10 min. S., 170 W. longitude, a fire broke out It was first discovered at (> p.m. by one of tlie.sea.nen, named James Adams, who came to the cabin and informed Captain Yule that there was ii strange smell of smoke in the forecastle. The captain and the chief mate went for'iird immediately to the forecastle and took oil'the
fore hatch. Smoke enmo up from the lower hold in elrv-,1- 'f) IP hutches were at once battened down, and cveiy hatchway in the ehip was promptly secured, bo ns to allow of no ventilation. On the following: morning there was a strong breeze, with frequent squalls, nnd tho crew and passengers were employed pumping water on the hatchways for several hours. The firn incronsing so rapidly, the passengers were obliged to leave the cabin, the eas bciue so strong. Several of the sails were cut down
from aloft to secure the hatches. At fi p.m.. the flumes broke out through the port, bow, nnd the waterways. Tho boats were got out, and Captain Yule, most of the crew, and all tho passengers but one, left the ship in four boats, leaving (lie chief officer, and 17 others on board the burning ship. Captain Ynln taking with him chronometer.*,' chart, sextnnts, and compasses. The ship was in (lames for'nrd when the boats quitted the side of the vessel. Mr. Sarjent volunteered to remain on board with those left behind and share the same fate. Immediately the boats had left the ship the steam pumps were got under wav, and the water from them somewhat checked the (lames. All the blankets and clothes which were within roach were used up to block up the holes for'ard, and a quantity of water was pumped upon them f'om the strain pumps. On the 21 st them was a moderate breeze and fine weather. When the boats left they worn ordered to lay too a'l night, but on the following morning th<\v were not to be soon. Kept the ship to (he X., N.W., W., and a short distance to the N.E., but nothing of the boats coul-l be scon. Having been without a compass all night, wi> succeeded in sr"tting into the cabin early in the morning and obtaining one. We al-o found a chart and other things to navigate the ship. The fire still under but not out. In the afternoon somo of tho hands were engaged in making a rnft from flio spnre spars, while tho others wore empl"vcl in kivping the fire down. On the 22nd the weather was still fine with si light breeze. H.mdf! still employed in pumping and buildins the raft. The hole over the port bow was repatched up, and a man went aloft every few minutes, to see if any vessels were in sight, but none could be seen. The ship was now lying under short canvas. At r. p.m. the raft was finished.
The 23rd brought fine weather and light breezes. Ship under three lower top-masts, mid fire pot under considerably. The decks were cut awav in several place?, and water was pumped down. In the afternoon evervthinu: on deck was burnt to keep steam pimp up. Midnight-, dark and prlooniy. April 21th.—"Weather still fflnnmy. Pumping '■very two hours, fherc beinrr three foot of water in the, hold. The fire lias not. broken out nil niprht, and we are still putting water below. In tho afternoon we. took tlie fni-ti hatch off, but ronlrl spo no fire, although (he fnrom.ist was very much burnt in tho way of the cabin. Somo of the hands went below, but owimj to the cas beinj; too strong, they woro "!ial)lo to crot up any coals. Tho hatches were put on riq-uin, and the fore-topgidlant sail and royal were cut down. April 2.Hh.— Wind N.W., stroncr In-eey.e, and uns-frtlcrl weather. Still pumpinp: water bolow. The ehit) was kept N.K by W., so as to ??et to the nor'ard in the track of tho ships. .All on hoard in irood health. In the afternoon the pi(rs (ten in number) went mad, anil we had to kill hem.
April 2<ilh.— Li-fU air and cloudy. The firn broke out again curly this morning, and two pumps were set to woric to kepp it down. There is still 3 fed of water in the hold. -April 27. —N'o observation taken t>-day. TVIoaV-r.-itn gales of wind, with passing squalls, and ship rolling- honvilv. April 28.— Weather moderating, and firn Rtill iindcT. but. groat quantity of steam and gas below. April 29.—Light breezes, and fine weather. Wo attempted to gr.t below in the cabin, but could nut. The ship was making much water, and was pumped overy two hours. Aj.ril ; 'O.—Nnthinir of importance. May I.—Wind E.N.TC. Wβ took oft , tho fore-
h'it,-h, and succeeded in getting up some coals, tlmro lining- no Hin'ilco below, although plenty of steam and ens/ The men could only remain for two minutes below. Still pumpimr shin out every two hours. The pitch is now cominir out of t.hp. snams. Soveral booms were Fenl down, anil at midnight it was squally. Mm- 3.—Win-1 N.K ; light breezes and cloudv. Cut up main top-mast studding sail boom to make sleepers I'or the i-n't, and men still employed pnmping water below. Jl'iy J .—Sighted two islands, supposed to b") Mer<ury anil Courier. Wore the ship round and stood to tho east. A hole, was cut in the deck to g't the
hawser up, unable to bring the cable up. Ship labouring very heavily under thrre lower topmasts. Heavy gale at midnight, -with terrific squall. May s.—Course E.N.E. Stong gale with confused sea, and shtp still labouring. In the afternoon the wind shifted to west and moderated, but increased again at midnight. May 6.—Course N.N.E. The gale still continuing, and stip making much water and labouring hard. At nine a.m. wore ship round to S.S.W. Gale moderating. At three p.m. gale increasing with terrific squall accompanied with thunder and lightning. Mon'still employed pumping water below. April 7. —Course, N.N.W. The gale continuing, but clear weather, and the ship making much water. Terrific squajls at midnight. May B.—Course, N. W. Strong gale still, and shi laboring heavily. Fire still under. May 9.—Course, N.W. by W. Smart equalle a heavy head seas, and ship plunging ir-uch. The fore hatch was taken off to get up Borne coal, but found it impossible to do so. May 10.—Coi'rso N. Light variable airs, and wind from W. to W.N.W. Still pumping water below. May 11.—Another btrong gale with squalls, and on observations t:iken. Ship making water still. At five p.m. made the land, hearing W.S.W., distanco 2G miles. At 10 p.m. a ship hove in sight on the lee bow,kept off: fired several guns, and showed blue lights. A boat was sent on board us, and wo learnt that the ship in company was the Dauntless, from Dublin to Auckland. Upon learning our condition, Captain Moore sent a life-boat, which stood by us until morning. May 12.—Early in the morning took of fore hatchway, !o see if any thing could be done to put the fire out, but found much more stenm and ga9 below than before. Then sent for Captain Moore, of the ship Dauntless, to come on board, which he did. We went below aud found the foremast, very badly burnt, and unable to carry any sail. I then told Captain Mooro we would leave the ship if he would take us on board, which he readily agreed to do. At 11 a.m. the flames came up the forehateh. We then wen on board the Dauntless and remaine J near the burn ing ship until 10 p.m., when she went down." «#**:<s With respect to the origin of the firo nothing accurate has been elicited, but is surmised that it was caused from spontaneous ignition of the wool.
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FEARFUL LOSS BY FIRE OF THE SHIP FIERY STAR., New Zealand Herald, Volume II, Issue 470, 16 May 1865
FEARFUL LOSS BY FIRE OF THE SHIP FIERY STAR. New Zealand Herald, Volume II, Issue 470, 16 May 1865
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