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NEWS FROM THE EAST.

A STEAMER AND 400 LIVES LOST. Non-8 by the Guthrie, which arrived at Syduey ■ from Hongkong, is as follows :— Previous reports confirmed the statement that a large steamer (ttm Duburg), with 400 passengers, is missing, The steamship Ashiugtou was scut iv search of the Duburg, aud returned to Hongkong a few days before the Guthrie left there. Nothing whatever was met with. The above fruitless search closes the last chapter in this melancholy tragedy ot the sea. There can now be scarcely a vestige of doubt that the Duburg, with her teeming human freight and all her crew, foundered iv mid-sea. The floating bundles of rattans which have been sighted by passing steamers from Singapore are probably the only trace—if, indeed, tliey be a trace—or sign of her that will ever be found. The Duburg was a vessel of 1097 tons burden, and had for some years been employed iv the China trade. She was commanded by Captain Bertelsou, and cleared from Singapore on the 25th October for Ainoy, via Hongkong. A Chinese trading vessel, whose crew were found to be in an unfortunate state of suffering from thirst, were fallen in with by the steamer Glamorganshire. The Glamorganshire arrived at Singapore on the 30th November from Hongkong. She reports that when the vessel was about 80 miles off the Horsburgh Light, she fell in with a junk, whose crew of IB Chiutse taid they had been without water for eight or nine days, and that the junk was leaking badly, and requested assistance. The Glamorganshire, ailer supplying the crew with water, took the juuk iv tow, and on to Singapore. The German steamer Pollux went ashore on the 2nd ulfc. just outside G'heefoo Harbour. She was Moated off subsequently. The Guthrie brings further particulars of the loss of the ship Nylghau. The official inquiry was being held at Hongkong when the Guthiie sailed. It is feared in this case that the boat which left the wreck in charge of the chief officer is lost. There were seven of the ship's crew iv the boat, aud a steamer scut in search had returned without them. The following strange account is given of the experience of three castaways rescued by a passing vessel from off the island of Sau Alessandro: It was at first supposed that they had uot been long on the island when the opportunity of escape presented it.-elf, but it now appears that they had spent nearly four years on the desolate spot where they were found. In October 1885, a Japanese vessel named the Matsuo Maru left Hakodate for Awomori, with a crew of three men, aud carrying seven passengers. While making the passageacross the Tsugaru Straits a heavy gale set in, aud the junk was blown out of sight of land. For 80 days it wa3 tossed about, and at length thrown ashore on the island of Sau Alessaudro. A very short examination showed that the resources of the place were of the slightest nature, aud four of the passengers and the crew decided to patch up the damage that the junk had sustained, and set sail for some more hospitable spot. The three passengers refused to leave the island, ami the junk started without them. Left to their own efforts the castaways began to hunt for water, and soon discovered a small supply which trickled drop by drop from a rock. Here they pitched their camp. Sea birds were caught by employing as misiiles the stones that lay thickly about; aud they also used as food the fruit of the few trees that grew on the island. The woman's kanzashi (hairpin) and part of the works of a watch in the possession of one of the men were worked up into hooks aud fishing tackle, by means of which fish were caught. Life was supported for nearly fou years till the arrival of the party from Sulphur Inland. The fate of those who started from Alessandro iv the Matsuo Maru is not stated. A gruesome item appears iv the export manifest by the steamer Peking, from one of the North China ports. Among her freight are 58 coffins with corpses and 31 large cases, each of which coutaius four small boxes of skeletons and human bones. An almost incredible account ia given iv a Straits paper which says:—"We loam from reliable sources that Indian and other British subjects are being lured away from Penang aud other parts of the Straits Settlements with offers of good aud remunerative employment iv Kedah. Almost as soon as they arrive there, these poor aud ignorant creatures are either sold or made debt slaves, remaining in bondage to the end of their days. If such things are allowed to go on by htr Majesty's Government on the very frontier of the Queen's dominions in the far East, why then make such a fuss about the slave trade on the east aud west coasts of Africa? " —Somebody at Vienna has just invented a powder which seems likely to put a very different complexion on all future military operations. The powderin question, when ignited, has the novel quality of sendingup such a dense smoke that in eight or nine minutes fighting is quite out of the question. There is something decidedly quaint in the idea of foiling your enemy by enveloping him, and yourself, in an exaggerated London fog.

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ODT18900117.2.47

Bibliographic details

NEWS FROM THE EAST., Otago Daily Times, Issue 8704, 17 January 1890, Supplement

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901

NEWS FROM THE EAST. Otago Daily Times, Issue 8704, 17 January 1890, Supplement

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