CAPSIZE AT NEWCASTLE.
BARQUE TURNS OVER IN THE # .' HARBOUR. A DISASTROUS SOUTHERLY BUSTER. ANXIOUS MOMENTS. Newcastle, November 30. The Liverpool barque Lodore, 1670 tons, Captain William McMurtry, capsized in the harbour during a southerly buster, at twenty minutes to six this evening, and now lies on her port side in about lift of water. There were 13 persons on board at the time, and all were saved. The Lodore was lying in the north harbour, about 100 yds or more from the North Stockton shore, and nearly in a line between the Newtown Ship Whart and the Sulphide Wharf, on the dyke side of the river. At low spring tide there is a depth of about lift of water at the spot, which is well out of the way of the . harbour channels. The barque had 140 tons of coal stiffening in her, and was drawing Bft forward and 10ft aft. Naturally she had a very large expanse of hull out of water. The first puff of the southerly struck Newcastle shortly before half-past five, and the Lodore, which'was then heading south-west, was caught on the port bow and carried over until her starboard rail was within sft or 6ft of the water. She righted herself, however, and after stirring up a great quantity •of mud, swung round until her bow was pointing almost due south. The anchor cables were crossed, and the starboard chain, of which there were about 60 fathoms out, was drawn round well under the forefoot o"f the ship and back, until it connected with the anchor, a considerable distance aft. The yards were braced back to starboard. There was a comparative lull in the wind for a-quarter of an hour, and then another and more violent gust came playing on the vards (being a little west of south, on the starboard bow), with all its force gradually bearing the barque over until she got past the point of further resistance, and her heavy masts and spars crashed down through the water and on to the bottom of the harbour with considerable violence. EXCITING EXPERIENCES. The officers and crew had just finished washing down, when the first squall was experienced, and all were consequently on deck. Captain McMurtry had gone ashore. When the final gust was seen coming, the men on deck gathered on the weather side under the fore-rigging, and as the vessel heeled over they clung to the rigging or clambered over the rail on to the vessel's side. It was a very anxious moment for them, and there were quick calculations as to how a dash for the shore would result. Fortunately none of the men were thrown into the water, and all managed to hold on until they were taken off in boats. The experiences of the stewardjvere rather more exciting. He had the tea-table set in the cabin, and was at first much concerned to save the crockery and glassware, etc., from rolling on to the floor and being broken. After a while he realised the seriousness of the situation, and -when eventually there was a terrible crash as everything movable poured down on to the floor, he gathered an idea of what had actually happened. All the ports on the starboard side of the cabin were open, and the water rushed in in a great stream. With the steward it was a race for life. He rushed to the companion way, and struggled hand over hand up the rail into the charthouse, on reaching which he took a glance back, and saw where he had just been was nothing but a seething, bubbling flood. The cook was confined in the galley on deck, but, fortunately, the starboard door was open, and his comrades above were able to lower him ropes and drag him up to a position of safety. That he escaped without injury from the falling utensils is rather remarkable. Captain Newton, deputy superintendent of shipping, with his launch, The Barossa, was alongside the dyke close to the scene of the capsize when it occurred, and so also was Pilot Stephens in a boat. They witnessed the affair, and putting out at once were beside the Lodore within a few minutes. Lifeboats from the many vessels near by followed quickly, until there were 15 or 16 ready to render assistance. The promptness witli which such an abundance of help was tendered was admirable. Not much difficulty was met with in getting the men into the launch, and with the exception of the second mate and two apprentices, who remained behind to watch the barque, all were taken down to Newcastle. POSITION OF THE VESSEL. As has been already mentioned the Lodore now lies on her port bilge in, at low tide, about lift of water. Viewed from the western side she presents a great expanse of plating, thickly encrusted with barnacles, with the line of the keel standing out some sft or 6ft above the river. At high tide the water will just about reach up to the keel. The starboard cable is stretched round the hull under the forefoot, but those who ought to know, express the opinion, that so far from tending to overturn the barque, the chain in such a position should have helped to stay her up if it did anything at all. On the other side the deck reaches some sft or 6ft beyond the line of the perpendicular, that is to say, the top side projects that distance further over than the side which is underneath. The masts decline at an angle of about 25deg. towards the water, which at low tide reaches to the intersection of the main yards with the mast. Half those yards are, of course, above the water, and about sft or 6ft of the topsail yards are also visible. The point of the jibboom just reaches the low tide. When the crash came the tarpaulins over the hatches broke away, and the hatches dropped out, leaving the holds open. It is thought that the hull may be not much damaged, but a great deal of injury must have been done to the rigging. The cracking of the backstays as the points of the yards touched the bottom and the great weight bore the spars down, was described as terrific. Not less so was the crash of the falling movables on the deck. Some of the woodwork was seen floating away. The forward boat was smashed, but the others were not damaged. Being practically on the point of sailing, the Lodore had her sails bent, and a large amount of stores newly laid in. The loss in that way will be very considerable.
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New Zealand Herald, New Zealand Herald, Volume XXXVII, Issue 11549, 7 December 1900
CAPSIZE AT NEWCASTLE. New Zealand Herald, Volume XXXVII, Issue 11549, 7 December 1900
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