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OFFICIAL INQUIRY UNDER THE WRECK ' S ACT AT BLUFF HARBOR.

On the application of C. P. O'Toole Esq., Sub-Collector of Customs, and Investigator of "Wrecks for this port, under " The Shipwreck Act, 1863," an enquiry was held at the Court House, before I. N. WattEsq, KM., and Captain Waldron, Nautical Assessor, into the circumstance relative to the wreck of the " General Grant " at Auckland Islands some eighteen months ago. The first witness called was — W. M. Sauguily, who deposed that the " General Grant," of Boston, U.S., 1103 tons register, Captain "W. H. Loughlin, and owned by Messrs Boyes, Uichardson and Co., of that city, left Boston, 28th November, 1865, for Melbourne, and after a favorable passage arrived in Hobson's Bay on the 13th March, 1868. Took in a cargo of wool, hides &c, for London, also 59 passengers, among whom were six ladies and about twenty children ; the crew consisted of 2i men all told. The list observation taken by the Captain was on Friday, 11th May, at eight a.m. ; after that time an observation could not be taken on account of the thick weather ; on Sunday, 13th, Disappointment Island, one of the group of the » Auckland Islands, was sighted ; at halfpast 10 p.m., all hands were called on deck, and squared the yards, to keep the ship off the laud; about half-past eleven the

Jftitt-'j&tohd was seen {the wind falling ■ away to a. dead calm, the ship drifted intfo a coy© on the coast, at the 6ad ai •which was a oave, about 400 yards situated on the west of Mam Is't^id, The gbiji was driven "into this o >ye, the rooi of'whiofc came into contact with her head gear, and Ooasequeutly earned away fcer foraroyal and topmast. The ship wa?" gradually working he? way into the oaVe T furtheiy through the action of the tide, and the other y {yds- and- topmast went, causing 1 a shower of rocks and Wreck; to descend on the ship. One Siiece of rock went through her forecastle eokv and another through tbe starboard deck-house ; all the passengers and crew having taken shelter in the cabin, the only ;slace of safety from tbe nrssiles from above. ... As the .water, was smooth tba. Captain concluded -that it- would . be advisable not to launch tbe boats until daybreak, -when a spar was fastened across the deck and one of the boats was launched. This boat was to go outside of tbe cave and see if a landing could be found* but not finding any the boat waited outside of the cave and did not return to the ship. : In about half an hour the I second boat was then launched under the charge of the first officer to tranship the ladies and children into the one outside ; three seamen and a few passengers were slung into her over the ship's stern, among whom were Mrs Jewel, Nicholas Allen, andlVederick Coughey . The ship at this time was sinking; the long boat was washed off : the deck and about forty souls got into her. Tbe cause of the sbip sinking was on account of the swell lifting her, and the- stumps of her masts coming in contact with the roof of the cave, had forced the foot of her masts through her bottom as well as having her bilges chafed on both sides against the ■ sides of the cave; when the long boat got about 100 yards from the stern of the ship, it swamped, and out of about forty, only three^ were Bared; these . were, David Ash worth, passenger, Aaron Hay men, able seaman, and myself ; haying swam to the previous boat, we were picked up by them ; the Captain, who did not leave the ship, could be seen standing on the mizzen cross -trees, as she went down in eighteeiLfathomSi The first officer proposed going to the ship to pick those up, wholwere left struggling in- , the water, when she went; under, them, and to take.the Captain off,; but. he was overruled, by those in the boat, who were afraid that those that were in the water would swamp the boat. Both boats pulled on tside and consulted . what should be done, and decided to pull to Disappointment Island, six miles off, tbe coast, all along being very high and perpendicular rocks; reached Disappointment, Island at dark, and remained during the night, and then made for the Main* Island, and got into Port Boss, after being three days arid two nights in the boats. In Port iloss we found a small hut, and remained during the night there j the next day we found another hut with the name "E. Shrive,' 'cut in letters over the fire-place. On. 13JjJi July,- Musgrave's hut was found (the second attempt we had made to find it) ; on returning to the second hut, the party- divided, one ..half ' to stay at Mussjrave's, the other at the second hut; tjris was done in order to keep a good look-out for passing ships. The party who remained at Musgrave's hut returued^ in December 1866 to repair their boat, in order to make a start for New Zealand; they left on 22nd January ; 1867. . They had no. chart or compass, but presumed the course was E.N.E. the names of the parties are as follows •— -Bartholmew Brown, Chief Officer, of Boston. U.S., Andrew Morrison, c?f Glasgow, A.8., W. Newton Scott, of Shields, A. B.,. and Peter M'Niven, A.8., of Islay. On the departure of the boat for New Zealand tbe party at the second hut removed to Enderby's Island where they lived on seals for fifteen months and caught a few pigs. In November 19th 1867 the cutter Fanny was sighted. On the 21st the brig " Amberst," Capt. Gilroy, was also sighted who saw our signals ; the next day we were taken on board, she prosecuting her voyage sealing until she landed us in the Bluff this day. . The names of those lost" as far as I can recollect are — passengers — Mrs Ott and .five children, Mrs Allen and three children, Mr and-Mrs Oldfield and, two children, MrLaing, Mr Mitchell, and others, names are unknown to me; thecrew lost are as follows:— r¥. 11. Loughlin, Captain, of New York, B. P.J ones, second ofScer y {>f Mass,-Magnus Anderson^ carpenter, Sweden, - Keeling, steward, purser^ cook, assistant- cook^ names unknown^ two -seamen .names unknown, and the first jofßcer'i: wife.. Of the. passengers saved are Mrs Jewel], Mr. Teer, Frederick Coughey, David Ash worth, and Mr Allen. - Of the crew saved, Bartholmew, Brown, Chief Officer, Andrew Morrison', W". NT Scott, Betex WNi^n, Win, Ferguson," Cornelius Drew, all A.B.'S Aaron'Hayman and ~W. M. - Sauguily" and* Joseph JeweU/anfi^DayidTyi'Lellan; A.TB.. V ' By Mr" OT'Tboler—N'one "of tbe shipls papers were saved, nor any cargo : can't say wEetHert the ship' was' Insured-; the ship's actual tonnagais -1.1303 .tons. . Never have' been to;the.wrecfe Jsiflce Aye " left hereout boats fndweatjier prevented- ; us. : ""i'"'.. :, \" '„.'■." .^' ." *' "~ Wm. FergusonVA.B. I.was atrtHe wheel from eightrtdtenp:m. on the night on which the wreck occurred/ The land was sighted ■ whilst I was at the wheel. The weather was foggy, with a r N.W. breeze. -I am . the only -survivor of my- watch, excluding those who left theusland in the boat to make the New Zealand.cpast ; the^e were : in the same watch, with me. .> Ni> attemptwas made to putian anchor out when We found we could not dear :tbe land,: I . have been at sea twelve: years, ajidr from " my exgejieiicej.J j;hiuk aJJ. tkat .could.; ; possibly be done was done to ' wear tEe ship off the land. I don't know wbether the ship was insured. The captain and ofiicers were sober; no disturbance that I know of arose on board from the time we left Melbourne.

Mary Ann JewelL^X paid, m,y jjassage m onetf out 'had to sign articles aJ3 stewardess. Hy husbantf Vas an able seaman on board. No person on board acted as stewardess, There was no disturbance on board from the time we left ; Melbourne until the accident .on i Auckland Islands : JameViWr, mariner, by oeeupatioW,and a passenaur fr.Hn Melbourne' fco London by theQ-en -Xii Grant. Left Port Philip Heads on fourth May,lBQG ; had liglifc westerly winds tilt the eleventh ; had hazy weather after that tiato ; eapfcain ftad oncers were sober lnea/and efficient, qs far' as my ex : penenee jjnos • sighted l^iid on thirteenth, about half past- ten, p.m. Everything poisiule.wa-j dove.to keep the ship off in fact,. the paptain. went so far as to ask che advice of some of the passengers whbji he thought capable of forming an opinion | told v nie 1 be could not get un 'observation for forty-eight hours, or he w.ould ; not have been sooiearthe land ;.; the ship struck about one a.m. with her jibbom against the walls of the cave ; at half-past one, her spanker boom struck the walls also, which carried it away along with ■ her " rudder ; the cave being only a little broader than the shipy she chafed her bilges against the sides, and also the stump of her main mast bumping against the roof, which, I think, must have penetrated through' her bottom, are the causes of the ship sinking* This ended the inquiry. . .. -,

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OFFICIAL INQUIRY UNDER THE WRECK'S ACT AT BLUFF HARBOR. Southland Times, Issue 885, 20 January 1868

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