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WRECK OF THE S.S. TAIAROA

OFF CLARENCE RIVER. LATEST NEWS. (By Telegraph.) Wellington, April 13. THE MAILS. There were eight bags of mails m tho Taiaroa, six from Wellington and two from Nelson, 'lhere were five registered letters from Wellington for Government officers, and senders have been advised that the letters are m the Taiaroa. A special search is being made for the mails, and the steamer will be boarded as soon as the sea goes down, and tho mail room examined. THE VESSEL'S POSITION. Kaikouba, April 13. The Taiaroa ia lying well m shore, apparently m a good position for getting off, of which there is a probability. One of the men who swam from the pinnace at the stern sustained no injury. There is not a great deal of water m the fore part of tho vessel, and about six to eight feet of water m her cabin. It. is thought that the deck planks have started, and there is not much doubt had passengers and crew Btuck to the vessel they would have been saved. ' Grant states that when the boat capsized he had great difficulty m getting from under her, and after swimming for some time was about giving up the struggle when he momentarily touched the bottom and eventually got ashore. Hutton states that many were sustained by the life-belts only to die from the severity of the night. There was not the slightest confußion, but perfect order, and not even a scream from the ladies. One boat tried to effect a landing, but returned to the vessel and reported that they were opposite a high bluff, but this was a mistake undoubtedly caused through the darkness. Captain Thomson is stated to have told the passengers they were within five miles of ICaikoura. It is stated there was only one rocket fired. Had lights and rockets been used continuously, help would speedily have been obtained from the workmen at Clarence River bridge, who saw the Bteamer's light, but took no further notico of it. ARRIVAL OF STEAMERS. KEKEKANOtr, April 13. The steamer Penguin, which left for the scene of the wreck yesterday, anchored under Cape Campbell for the night, as it was found impossible to reach Clarence River before dark. She arrived at the wreck at seven o'clock this morning and found that the Wakatu and Wanaka from Lyttelton had just arrived. The ship's papers and a few small things belonging to the passengers have been taken from the Taiaroa on to tho Penguin. An inquest on the bodies of those who wero drowned takes place here to-morrow, and preparations are being made to inter the dead m the little Kekeranga cemetery, excepting that of the first mate, whose body will bo buried m Blenheim. Another body is identified as that of Mr Robert Morrison, fireman. It is feared that among the drowned is Mrs Fitzgerald, wife of tho Editor of the Timabu Herald. Mr VaUance, tho wellknown racing man, is also drowned, and his brother from Rangiora has been scouring the beach all day m the hope of finding the body, but without Buccess. NARRATIVE OF JOHN McQUARRIE. ONE OP THE SAVED. I am a native of Manchester, 32 years of age, and I came out to the colony as second mate of the ship Warwick, to Port Chalmers, two years ago. I was a steerage passenger by the Taiaroa, and was lying m my bunk about 7.30, when I felt the ship strike on the ground. I rushed out on deck, and found everyono making for the saloon for life-belts. The captain was on the bridge, cool and collected. Someone asked him where we were. He replied, "About five miles from Kaikoura." Great confusion took place on deck while the boats were being swung from the davits. I got into a boat on the starboard side, and m the same boat were four women ; Mr Ward, the Whitehead torpedo instructor; Mr Grant, and also a " spieler " with curly hair, who greatly lamented having to leave his performing monkey. The women were all dressed with the exception of the youngest, a Salvation Army lass of about 25 years of age, who hod nothing, on but. her chemise. All the four women wore life-belts. It was quite light, and cold; We could see hills, but no beach. A heavy sea capsized the boat after we attached it to the stern of tho steamer by means of a line. The women kept well up for a long, time, but ono after another they threw up their hands and sank from exhaustion, produced principally by the bitter cold. As I swam past them one woman tried to catch me but I eluded her, and- together with twelve others succeeded m getting into another boat which was floating keel uppermost. The boat righted itself notwithstanding the heavy sea, and I found all we had was one broken oar. My companions seemed to bo terribly distressed and exhausted, and when the boat turned over again five went under and never came up, leaving the second mate, five seamen and myself. Tho five groaned fearfully, and laid m the bottom of the boat; one after another, gurgling m the throat and dying. The second mate wag very weak also, but he helped me to throw the dead men overboard, as their bodies and upturned faces washing from one side of the boat to the other greatly distressed and obstructed us, The seoond mate said, just as day was breaking, " It's no good ; I can't keep up anj longer," and by the time the boat grated on the boulders of the beach, and went ashore he also was dead. I managed to crawl out oi the boat and up the sandy creek towards the hills, and was making for a light, when a mas met me and took me m a trap to Kekeranga station. I consider the night was not too dark to prevent the captain seeing where he was, and I believe everybody might have been saved had they swam straight ashore. The captain and officers behaved coolly, and the steward served out Ufa-bolts as quickly as possible. I really believe the captain thought he was heading direct for Kaikoura. The four women consisted of two passengers and two stewardesses, all being elderly females but ono, and all behaved Bplendidly, and made no fuas. I believo all four were drowned close to the steampr itself. RETURN OF THE PENGUIN AND WANAKA. Wellington, April. 13. Tho s.s Penguin returned from tho wreck at three o'clock this afternoon. A large crowd collected on the wharf to witness the arrival of the steamer, and immediately oc her coming alongside she was boarded by anxious enquirers. It appears tho eteamei

d met with fair weather both ways, and reached the spot about seven o'clock last evening, ip leaving there on the return journey at c nine o'clock thia morning. Captains Bendall 0 and Williams were the only persons who il landed. There was nothing special to record m reference to the Taiaroa, which " was seen lying as described m the telegrams. r ihe Wanaka and Wakatu were also at the fscene of the wreok at the same time. The Penguin brought back none of the persons who were rescued, and on interviewing those on board it was found that they were not m a position c to Btipply any information m addition to that ■a published. The Wanaka arrived hero at, c 5 p.m. r Captain Bendall of the Underwriters' Aae eociation is of opinion that the Taiaroa could c be got off unless she is injured more than he imagines. He telegraphed from Kekerangu to-day : — •, "Boarded the Taiaroa; found water flowe ing m and out of the hold ; no cargo is washed - out ; conclude the vessel is damaged m the I 1 bollotn ; otherwise intact ; cargo can be ; landed easily if fine weather prevails." v The Coroner has left Blenheim for the a scene of the wreck to hold an inquest on the s bodies recovered. The Union Company have a also despatched a medical man to the scene m • case his services may be required by any of a those rescued. The Penguin brought back the Taioroa's papers and plate, and the Wanaka also brought up several artioles taken from the wreck. LIST OF SAVED AND DROWNED. Tho following is the list of the drowned and saved so far as it has been possible to ascertain : — PASSENGERS DROWNED. Mrs Q. Q-. FitzGerald Mrs Jessie Game (or Fraser) Wm. Ward, torpedo instructor B. H. VaUance — Erskine — Galbraith George Hawker George Smith ' James Ferguson 1 — Murray . John Harboard E. Bray Wigley, from Wellington \ Alexander Martin, from Wellington. ' BATED. ' Sergeant Grant. A.O. Constable McQuartier, Permanent Torpedo Corps P. Henderson J. Harper Gilbert Hulton ', Thomas Olliver CBBW DROWNED. R. Montman, chief officer ! J. Powell, second officer ' T. Stratford, second engineer \ R. Spooner, purser F. Hill, lamp trimmer ; Able Seamen — [ J. Jones R. Williamson [ E. McMillan P. Hnnsen i J. McPhee, fireman J. McDonough B. Irvine J. Hunter R. Williams ' Stewards — T. Delaney k .R. Bathgato > M. A. Brown, stewardess I G. Gallichin, chief cook i W. Kellin, second cook. ' SAVED. George Thomson, captain i Samuel Dalryinple, chief engineer ! J. Feilder, chief Btevrard Duncan Campbell, second steward William Tain (or Cain), donkey man J. West, carpenter J. Mackay, A.B. William Quinn, boy. It is at present quite uncertain whether there were not several others on board. OTHER PARTICULARS. Tho special reporter of the Pott telegraphing from the scene of tho wreck snys : — " There is little doubt but that when she . stranded she wns hugging the shore too closely." ; A further telegram from Kekerangu states that another body was found sonth of Flaxbourne, making nine m all recovered. The following have been identified :— Robert Monkman, first officer Jas. Powell, second officer Alexander Martin, passenger. The position of the wreck is unaltered. Captain Williams surveyed it on behalf of the Union Company and decided to abandon it to ths Uuderwriters, as she showed every appearance of her bottom being clean gone through working on the boulders. ARRIVAL OF THE CAPTAIN AT WELLINGTON. 9.35 p.m. The s.s. Wnihi, with the captain and those saved m bis boat, arrived this evening from , Blenheim. Very little additional information has been elicited, but it is known that there were five women on board the ill-fated . vessel. These were Mrs Fitzgerald, Mrs Jessie Game, Mrs Gibbs, saloon passengers " from Wellington ; a steerage passenger, name I unknown, and tho stewardess (M. A. Brown). ; So far as can be ascertained those on board : numbered 47, being 20 passengers and 27 of ; a crew. The number saved was 14, thus ; leaving 33 drowned. ; Arrangements are being made to send the i Grafton to the wreck to-morrow. Mr Fielder, i chief steward, will bo a passenger m order to '. identify the bodies washed up on the beach. , An attempt will also be made to get posses- . sion of the mails which are stowed away m ' the afterhold. No date has yet been fixed for tho magisterial enquiry. • Captain Bendall will commenco the work . of savipg cargo to-morrow. THE STEAMER TO BE SOLD. Wellington, April 13. The steamer Taiaroa will bo sold by auction at Wellington on Thursday next. THE ABANDONMENT REFUSED. KaikourA, April 13. The underwriters refuse the abandonment of the steamer, and it is believed' that efforts 1 will be made to get her off. There . is but ' little movement of the steamer at high water. > The seas wash over her deck, but with little force. ' ■

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Bibliographic details

WRECK OF THE S.S. TAIAROA, Timaru Herald, Volume XLIII, Issue 3600, 14 April 1886

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1,930

WRECK OF THE S.S. TAIAROA Timaru Herald, Volume XLIII, Issue 3600, 14 April 1886

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