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THE LOST TATHRA.

STEAMER AT NIGHT.

TWENTY-FOUR- LIVES LOST.

Further particulars m respect to the foundering of . the steamer- Tathra- off 'Ambrym Island/ New Hebrides, on the j early morning of January 4, when 24 j lives were lost, were made available by the arrival in 1 Sydney last" week of Capt. M. Halliday. (the master) ap<l some members of the crew 'of the 'ill 'vessel. The survivors included^, m; addition to the master, Messrs iicGuffog (mate), Lowe (second mate), Palmer (secoml engineer^, Kemp (third, engineer), and, Qolentan (passenger). The TathraThad left i Ambrym for Epi early irithe Afternoon. ; Soon after sailing the' barometer "gave ; warning of 'approaching' bad weather, j an<l the captain decided to niak6 back. J At about 2.30 a;m: the vessel shipped a ' •sea over the starboard quarter, which , caused her' tp' £&ke J a list to port. No pjie suppdiseit' m trouble, but' when she did not right- herself, steps ' were at ozice taken to fptcjh her round j again, and- thus give her a chance: The . vessel failed to answer the helm. An [ attempt, to get her aWayvalso failbd, and";; ,B^.e Mould, not rise; All hands were j thereupon called on deck. The' lid.t being 'retained, boats were lowered. The vessel gay,e 'her -final lurch just as the second' boat, got clear of the side. All i hands were not aboard at this moment, j 'One of them was Mr G. L. S. Kerr (of i bhe firm of Kerr Brothers, who held the 'sw&ipisi*' urnler ghapter fr-om the Illawatra.'' and South Coast Steam -Navigation Company). He had jumped clear of the steamer with his 16-months-old daughter m his arms. The natives hurried to his help, and grasped them in an endeavor to save both of them. He never saw his child again. A GREAT STRUGGLE.

• M> J. W. Russell, chief engineer, met hi* death m a- mogt- sensationa} manner, After the 'ship heeled oVer he was 'seen swimming m the water, and Mr Kerr sang out to him to try. and keep going and get aboard the plank which he (Kerr) ■was on.. P,uss r ell made a great effort to reach the pjartlc, Tiufi the'"mast of tile Tathi'a was bobbiiig up. «id . down 'on the ? % <>ugh watery !«I}d IVp« -swimi|iirjff /lindei;, it i'^e. dpv^rt,' striking 4hp unfortunate, engineer, either killing hihi" ' outright or stunning him. Whatever it did, Russell sank, and Kefrr- and' rae natives' were left on their littb Pla4ik-alpn|. On thjs th,ey drilted about foy over 18 hoiws, Qji'e native was swept off, and sank. Mr managed, to swim. ashore. "The captain succeeded m .getting 36 of the 1 pas&e,ng'e¥s"iih<r' crew ; into the bo^it under hi§' charge', 'but the steamer went down before the mate's boat could get clear with the remainder of the vessel's ,c6mpanjr. Qnly n;ne r ;pevsons,^ succeeded m getting into this, boat. . Some of the others were seeji struggling m the \Y&fa \ve^e nia4e n$ r€80«», but the^blg seas barked the boat's. ? away.' : - Th"c mate's boat reached ; the island of Majekula at 3 p.m, the saijie day, and at .8 p;in. the captain's boat reached ' Port Sandwich, where the Malaita .was at; anchor, hayIngjfput m to 'avoid the impending storm. ;♦ , Every soul of the saved lost everythihg. M)ost ; of %m, mre asleep m tjieir ■' cabins when'th}} order was t» ;hw". P}]--aeck r Aliogether there V'ere 70 persons oil the vessel. T-here W^no ptW warnmg of tlje impending disaster than the .lfe't she mack, The foundering was fearfully. ... sudden, all being over jn from 20 minutes to half an! hour

,A VIOI/E^T pALI!:., ,. ...... ' -, Captain 'Hailiday M iii .the course of an interview, said it was pitph" cjsu'k at the time. "We did our best," he Went on to say, "to rid the vessel of the great quantity of ■ water' m, the well : dfe6k, but ■It was useless. ■ I then brougWhfer r,ound to th« v ,>y.ind agiain, a^oLhoye her to ii> tl>e hope of 'squaring things up, pjfh the 'manoeuvre was fruitlesfi. She wa« then almost on her. beam ends , to ppi't, and ' all hands had been . ordered pi^deck. I tried to get }ier ti^vay iDefow th'p " gate , aftaili', but ■ she >vould not an8/#er ,Her m\n\. And began tp go fiii-ther o^er. lights 'Avgnt ..^ut a quattpr.of ftU houp before tlie steampr sank,, ; ing \Weijt JAw^' : with ' the slilp. s Ihey n€»yer left the <l«ck. Tliey could scarce,ly niove with the steamer on her, beam '■ ends .and the seas washing aboard. Wo saw Tier go before our boat got ,far away.

She was right on her beam ends when .she took the 'final plunge.' " Mr Coleman, the passenger among the survivors, dived clear of the vessel as she was about td go down, and managed to reach one of the boats.

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THE LOST TATHRA. Poverty Bay Herald, Volume XXXIX, Issue 12676, 1 February 1912

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