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LOSS OF THE CITY OF DUNEDIN P.S. WITH ALL HANDS.

Tim p.s. City of Dunedin, Captain ]3oyd, left the Queeu's Wharf, at J. o'clock, in the afternoon of Saturday, the 20tli May, for Nelson and Hokilika, and up to the present date no intimation of her arrival lias readied us, and there is now no doubt but that she has either blown up or struck on some of the numerous rocks on the coast and gone down instantaneously. On Monday, the 21st ult, Mr Davies, the pilot, forwarded to us the remnants of a broken desk, a letter, signed " T. .Ryan," and a parchment label on which I was inscribed " Steamer Favorite, ilokitika," and which he had found affixed to a half-cask of pitch. All these articles had been ■washed on shore at the Heads on the previous day. We published this information in our issue of the following day, and then very painful rumors -were circulated that the relics discovered pointed to some accident as having befallen the City of Dunedin. At first no attention was paid to the vague and indefinite surmises that were being everywhere hazarded, but at length a long array of circumstantial evidence proved that the very worst suspicions were but too well founded. Day by day portions of wreck were being washed on shore, amongst which were the following articles : — A largo sized sandal wood box, with the brass corners, muni; plate, and lock knocked off; an oar, about 15ft long, broken at the centre, and without any brand; several pieces of tongued and grooved timber, painted white, resembling cabin /iU.mgsi, one piece liuvmg :i brass clothes-pea; attached ; (lie top of a paint locker, about live feet long, with a brass hasp ; an oblong frame painted white, and much resembling those placed over eiibin doors for the purpose of ventilation; a. common striped Crimean shirt, with the name of " D. Macdonald" sewn in at the back of the neck on a piece of common calico ; portions of one or morn white calico shirts, and some Jew small pieces of timber, a green plush cushion, a bust of a female painted white, with a gilt mural crown on her head ; her hand resting on a shield painted blue, on which is a, castle gilt, and a steamer's mahogany binnacle with the name ''Heron" of Crlasgow. Some of these articles were recognized by iruury persons as having been seen on board the missing steamer. The half-cask of pitch, addressed to the steamer Favorite, had a label attached, with the letters " C.L.A. 1 ' only distinguishable. This proves the identity of the cask, and its connection with the City of Dunedin. Such a cask was shipped by Messrs Clark & Co of Port Chalmers, on the day the vessel sailed, and the boatman who put it on board states that it was placed in the lower hold of the vessel, in which case the vessel must have broken up before it could have been floated away. On the other hand, the cask has been identified by a man named Morrison, who arrived in the City of Dunedin last trip, in the capacity of first", or second steward, lie says that it stood upon the deck, and ho was in the habit of making a seat of it. The shirt found is presumed to have belonged to the chisf engineer of the vessel, -whose name was D. Macdonald. Heron was the name of the maker of the binnacle, and the cabin cushions of the City of Dunedin were covered with green velvet. The Ministry took up the matter very warmly, and used every exertion to clear up the mystery that attached to the missing ship. The Harbor Master, acting on the directions of Major Richardson, proceeded to tin* Heads on Tuesday, the o'Hhull, in the schooner Sarah, for the purpose of inI stituting a .scrutinizing search in every direction. Captain Fox, of the guiiboai Sandlly, went on a similar expedition, accompanied by Captain Kenned}', of the Marino Hoard. ! Tlio following is the account of Capt.Hallij day's cruise. The Hurbov Masterproeeededm i (lie schooner Sarah to the heads on Tuesday the Moth ult. On arrival there he obtained ihe Pilot's boat, and made a careful survey of the coast about Penearrow Head, but did I j not find anything that would lead to the 'identification of ihe vessel that has been ! wrecked. Tiie_ .Harbor Master's crew pro- j ceeded in the direction of Terawili, and went ' within a mile of that place. Jietween Island '

J3;iy, and Sinclair's Head, some cabin linings painted stone color, and a deal plank, 20 i'oofc louti:, used by steamers as a gangway, a gilt moulding, supposed to have been broken olf a figure head, some abort deck planks, between two and three feet long, and a hatch, were found ; but to the westward of Sinclair's Head, there was 110 sign of wreck of any kind. The majority of the relics of the wreck have been found between the Pilot Station and Sinclair Head. I The following is the official report by Captain Fox, of the gunboat Sandily as to the result of his cruise : — " I proceeded this morning (Ist June) shortly after daylight, along the coast to the ■westward to Sinclair Head, minutely examining the reef, steaming as close to the rocks as I considered prudent. ; "I then proceeded towards Tom's and Karori .Rock, following the coast line as far as Torawiti, but saw no appearance of anything having been washed on shore. "1 afterwards steamed across Cook's Strait towards Tory Channel, experiencing a strong JN". W. breeze and heavy sea ; and at noon communicated with the whaling station at the entrance of the channel, and was informed that nothing had been seen or jneked up ill that locality. " I immediately weighed and made' for the coast by Wellington Jlead ; but, after a careful search, could see no indications of a wreck. " M/y survey of the Brothers on all sides was attended with the same result. " I consider it impossible for any one to land, or any portion of a wreck to remain i on these islands, on account of their being j so precipitous. 1 " 1 concluded m} T first survey by preceding 1 towards the north entrance of Queen Charlotto's Sound, and was informed by the pi lob '. stationed at Long Island, that no traces of a recent wreck had been seen or heard of, except some spars known to belong to the j schooner Star of Tasmania, recently dismasted. " Finding that nothing further could be done this day, I returned to port, as nothing j can be done except by daylight. With the i sanction of the Government, I purpose to morrow to prosecute the search in the direction of Palliser Bay. " I have to thank Captain Kennedy of the Marine Board, for his valuable assistance in this expedition along the coast." The presumption that the " City of Dunedin" is the vessel lost, is now proved j to be too well-founded, and more precise j particulars have been furnished in a letter I forwarded by Messrs Bethune and Hunter, the agents of the ship in this city, to Messrs John Jones & Co., the owners, in Dunedin. Messrs. Betluuic & Hunter's letter is as follows : — We regret that it is our duty to advise you that there is a- very painful rumour in circulation respecling the (Jity of Dunedin. She sailed from this port on Saturday afternoon, the 20th inst, about 4 o'clock, and up to the time the s. s. Tararua left Nelson, 071 Tuesday, the 23rd inst, she had not made her appearance there, neither was anything seen or heard of her either by the S. S. Wellington or Tararua, the one steamer coming via Picton, the ol her direct. This, however we wore not aware of until after both steamers had sailed for the south, but you may of learnt this prior to (lie present coming into your possession. It was fine when she left this port, the little wind blowing being from the south-east, but the pilot says there was a heavy south-east swell in the Strait. A steamer's binnacle with the name of " Heron," of Grla^gow, came ashore in Lvell's .13ay a half cask of pitch marked "-S. Favorite, Hokitika" was found near the pilot station ; and a green plush cushion was picked up about Sinclair Head, as well as some maple colored cabin fittings iv small pieces This is about all that has been seen up to the present, (iiiic. The conjecture is that, in standing across the Straits she was kept rather close to the shore and struck against the Seal Hock or some others in that neighborhood. Supposing this to have happened, she would sink at once, and there would not have been time to launch a boat or a soul saved. Against all this, there is a chance that what lias been found belonged to some other vessel and the possibility that the City of Dunedin went straight, on to Hokitika, without calling at, Nelson. Unfortunately, we shall not hear from the last named port before Saturday the 3rd proximo. In the meanl hue, we must hope for the best, and trust that it will prove a false alarm. Everybody here is much concerned, as Captain Jioyd and his excellent mate wore well known and highly respected. '"Since the preoceding wus written, wo linns had a long conversation with a Mr Archibald Weir, at present- commanding a small coaster, called the. Streamlet. He informs us that he acted as secodd olllcer of the City of Dunedin for upwards of nine months. Yesterday, being Sunday, lie went out (o the Heads, and spent the day walking round the beach in every (tired inn. He saw some small fragments, a binnacle, 11, skylight, and a boat's rudder, and v>o regret to inform you, expresses no doubt that these three articles belonged to the City of Duuedin. He remembered the binnacle, by a secret spring there is on it, which he did not discover before he was six mouths in the vessel, mid (hen only Ivy its being pointed out to him by n. m::n who came out from Glasgow in her. The skylight he identifies by a portion of it being broken, which was done while the vessel was on her way to or from Melbourne. The rudder he said -\v;is made at. Lyttoltou, and it was too large, and a piece of the head is peculiar and partly broken. Captain Blair (of (lie Sea Serpent) and Captain Campbell (of the Esther), both very steady and experienced men, wont out with Mr Wcii 1 , and it is their opinion that, if the worst has happened, the accident occurred off Sinclair Head, the- swell having probably driven the vessel closer to the land than was supposed by those on board. On one occasion the Prince Alfred had a narrow escape under what we may assume to be somewhat similar circumstances, but she had the benefit of daylight, and the captain was able to extricate her." The following is, ns far as is known, a correct list of the passengers who left in the unfortunate steamer on the 20th ult. : — Mr M'Carthv, Miss Baxter, Mr Cole, Mr Barron, Mr Bishop, Mr Johnson, Mr M'Laren, Dr Levy, Mr John Beswick, Mr J. .Rump, the Ilcv. Mr Driscoll. and Miss .Radley. In the steerage : — Mrs Briggs, .D. Monkay, H. Pan-son, J. BjiWcll. Mr and Mrs Moody, Mrs MT,.n-n. Mr J. MT^an, Mr J: Eowc, and .VI r 11. Crawford, but as passengers arc occasionally in the habit of going on board coasting steamers; without bookiug themsolvoi at the agent's ofiicivs, it is probable that there may have been others on board whose names are not on the manifest. The crew and officers numbered twenty-five. Captain 13ovd. in command, Mr M'William being chief ofh'cer, Mr I). Macdonald, chief engineer, Alexander Campbell, carpenter, and Anno 'Mackay, stewardess. ]No bodies have beeu discovered, and we fear that the veil of mystery which overshadows the fate of Captain Boyd, Ins ship, passengers, and crew, will never be withdrawn and that we have seen aud heard the last of the ill-fated ivesscl. Whether she

struck on a rock and went down immediately with her livm^freight, or whether she blew up,, will never bo revealed, but it must be a satisfaction to know that all that could be done, was dotie, to learn tidings concerning her. We are also afraid that the City of Dunediu is only one of a number of vessels that have been lost during the late gales on the coast, as from information received from the Wairarapa it appears that quantities of wvck, and portions o^ cabin fittings are being daily washed on shore in Palliscr Bay. A gentleman writing from a station in that district, under date of the 27th May, says :— Wehavelmdsomecxcitcmcnt about a wreck that has evidently taken place somewhere. Yesterday the Maoris came and told me, (hat they had picked up portions of wreck, cabin fittings, &c, all along the beach. lat once rodo round the beach to Cape Palliscr, and found fragments all the way, right up to the extreme point. I saw lots of small pieces of plank, all, I should say, belonging , to deck fittings — a bucket, a life-buoy, and an • oar, on none of which were any marks. The only thing with any letters on it, was an empty case, which had, 1 think, cuutaincd apples, as there was a little straw in it, and beside it I picked up a iVosh apple. The case was marked ' s.s. Rangafcira stores,' and also on the paint the figures '■ A 2-780, the latter 1 take to be the original mark I of the case, since which it lias contained stores. The native found portions of the wreck on TuesI day, the 23rd May. Mr Cameron's shepherd arrived in town on Wednesday last from Pahau, with a number of sheep. He states that from j Wanga Moann, (i\lr liusscll's station) to the ; JVluka M.uka rocks, the beach was strewed i with the debris of a wreck. Amongst the j relics found were part of a ship's wheel, j boats' oars, a full tiu of kerosene oil, sperm I candles, a carpenter's tool chest, the framework of a cabin window, and a. hatch about eight feet in length, on which the name of " Limih" was cut with a knife. The Maoris were most active in collecting everything that came on shore.

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/WI18650613.2.32

Bibliographic details

LOSS OF THE CITY OF DUNEDIN P.S. WITH ALL HANDS., Wellington Independent, Volume XX, Issue 2218, 13 June 1865

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2,421

LOSS OF THE CITY OF DUNEDIN P.S. WITH ALL HANDS. Wellington Independent, Volume XX, Issue 2218, 13 June 1865

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