mumbles Lifeboat disaster 1908

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mumbles Lifeboat disaster 1908

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Evening Express
3rd September 1908 (Second Edition)

I NO MORE BODIES WASHED ) ASHORE I 11- I MUMBLES LIFEBOAT AND THE DISASTER. During Wednesday afternoon the wrecked toiling ship Amazon drew some hundreds of sightseers on to the Margam Beach, and the hapless remains of the barque proved an object of much speculation and curiosity. Police-inspector Canton, Port Talbot, several times visited the scene, and kept a number of officers constantly along the coast in search of bodies, but up to a late hour On Wednesday night no further bodies were Washed ashore. The splendid conduct of the local police throughout the disaster has merited well-deserved public approbation, as in efforts of rescue and the exercise of care and comfort for the sailors they have been indefatigable. Inspector Canton has been ubiquitous, and he has been splendidly supported by Police-constables Hayes, Poison, and Jones. A popular theory is that a number of the missing bodies are buried in the sand near the wreck. II THE RESCUED. -u. z__ Sidney Evans still remains in a critical condition, but the remainder are progressing splendidly under the careful and constant attention of Dr. J. H. Williams, who has been labouring night and day in their interest. Mr. Charles Russell, who made such a heroic attempt at rescue by swimming to the vessel in the height of the storm, unfortunately developed serious symptoms on Tuesday night, and pneumonia was feared. By careful medical aid and nursing, he managed to once again weather the storm, and is now out of danger and on the high road to recovery. Both Mr. Russell and Sea- man Sullivan, who occupy adjoining bed- rooms at the Jers-ey Beach Hotel, Aberavon, have been cared for with unfailing kindness and professional skill by Mrs. Sullivan, the landlady. I OPENING OF THE INQUEST. The district coroner (Mr. Howel Cuthbert- eon) on Wednesday opened an inquiry on the six recovered bodies. The men were identi- fied as: Second mate J. Logan, Greenock. Sailor E. Kee, Ramsey. Sailor Patrick Morgan. Sailor Jas. Dacon. Sailor only known as "Bronx," Birmingham. Apprentice A. F. Orr (not Allen, as pre- viously reported), Glasgow. The jury consisted of seafaring men, of which Mr. Ben Davies was foreman. CaPtain Humphrey Jones (harbour master), and Mr. J. R. Oadman (Railway Docks Oompany) were present. The coroner, speaking with much emotion, aid he wished to express his deep sympathy with the relatives of the men who had lost their lives in the disaster. In expressing that sympathy, he felt sure that he was echoing the feeling of everyone in court. It was a bad and terribly stormy night-terrible. But the results were more terrible than the night. Might the Almighty give to the relations and friends comfort and consolation in the irreparable loss they had sustained, and also grant to the sailors tossing on the seas His protection! The Coroner (continuing) said that when he first heard of the disaster he thought of the hymn they 'had often sung ia church, Guard the sailors tossing." He would repeat the verse: Grant to little children Visions bright to see; Guard the sailors tossing On the dark blue sea. He feared that when they sang those lines they did not Day as much attention to them as they ought to do. The Coroner then intimated that be would take evidence of identification, and then adjourn. John Adams, one of the rescued seamen, said he left Port Talbot on the Amazon on Monday morning. He identified five of the bodies which had been viewed by the jury. He did not know their ages. They came down to join the ship from Cardiff. The men were drowned about nine o'clock on Tuesday morning, after leaving the ship, when the was aground on Margam Sands. There were 28 on board, and there were fourteen missing at present. There were eight saved. The Coroner: I see in the paper two are in a critical state. Dr. J. H. Williams: Yes. air. Dr. J. H. Williams, Aberavon, said be had seen the bodies of the six men, and examined them. There were some superficial marks on the bodies. The cause of death was drowning. Four of the rescued men were progressing Satisfactorily, but Evans was suffering from congestion of the lungs, and was in a critical state. Carl Christensen suffered from a contusion of the head, and Christopher Sullivan Was suffering from pleurisy, but was progressing favourably. He had also seen Mr. Russell, the man who swam to attempt a rescue, and he was also progressing satisfactorily. He expressed his deep appreciation, to every one for the careful and kindly maminer m which they had acted towards the sailors, The coroner: Any other signs of the others? Inspector Ofbnton: We were out until a late hour, but no further bodies have been recovered.

M CHIEF MATE'S STORY. I Edward Halley, of Greenook, the first mate, who was rescued off the deck, said he was on board the Amazon, a four- masted barque. They left Port Talbot on Monday morning, with 28 hands on board, and with a. cargo of 3,018 tons of coal. When they left the weather was overcast, I with the wind from the south-west. He was chief-officer after the captain, who was missing. After they left Port Talbot they went to one mile beyond Oyster Buoy. They anchored off Mumbles Head about 12.45. The tugboat could not tow them any further due to the of the force of the wind, and the captain and pilot decided to anchor. The anohors did not drag at all, but the chain of both anchors snapped, and the vessel drifted. The chain snapped about a quarter-past six on TuesdAy morning They tried to take their bearings, and the first land they saw was the Port Talbot breakwater. They were drifting at four knots, and went ashore on the sands. The sailors were all on the poop deck when she struck, and the waves washed some of them overboard. He was taken off the wreck by one of the lockgate men. There was no lifeboat about. They were flying a flag of distress in the mizen� an ensign upside down. Only one man remained on board with him. He did not see the captain washed overboard, but he spoke to him a few minutes before he was washed overboard. They tried to put out their own lifeboat, but the tide was so strong that she was smashed to bits against the vessel. The vessel wes a toal wreck and all broken up. Everything was done that could be done to save the vessel. Dr. Williams: The man Christopher Sullivan says that he saw the captain killed and then washed overboard. A wave came and struck him against the poop with great violence. The inquest was adjourned to next Thursday 0

DOCK COMPANY'S SYMPATHY. illr. J. R. Cadman said that he was desired ?N by Mr. Lowther to say that the dock company wished to be associated with the expressions of sympathy, and that they desired ?N that no expense should be saved in the worK of recovering the bodies. M NATIVE OF FERNDALE. Sydney Charles Erans, one of the injured survivors, is the son of Mrs. Evans, 10, Elm- street. Ferndale. He is 21 years of age. Only last week he signed on for this boat. He had served an apprenticeship on Cardiff steam- boats ander Captain Elia«. His late father was at one time manager a.t the Ferndale Colleries. He has a brother in the analy- tical department under Guefct, Keen and NettlefoJds (Limited), Dowlais. Sydney was Unconscious when he came Ashore, but after I being put to bed recovered consciousness sufficiently to state his name and address, adding, Don't tell my mother." NN RELIEF FUND FOR THE SUF- M FERERS.  At the Star and PaJd? Th..?l", Swamsm two sacred concerts will be held on Sunday I ev?nin?. the manager (Mr. Ooutte) devoting the whoje ptrooeeds to a relief fund for the sufferers. The Mayor of Swansea also intends opening a relief fund.
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THE MUMBLES LIFEBOAT. I WAS EVERYTHING POSSIBLE I jt) DONE? Ilbe aotion, or want of action, cf the Mumbles lifeboattmen has been much dis- cussed. and in our yesterday's edition we gave the reasons fbr the apparent delay and the version of Mr. Boulanger. The dissatisfaction has, however, been heightened by the priblicaticai Of the follow- ing in a. Swansea paper:- Mr, John Williams, Mumbles lighthottee- fceeper, who watched through powerful glasses the Amazon In her difficulties, informed a press renrresenrbative that he could øee the danm all tbMgm6 a�4 Be was in a position to see her breaking UP about nine o'clock. For the lifeboat to have been of any service she should, in his opinion, have been sent to the reccue-i-ndc-,pL-ndently of signals-at seven o'clock in the morning. She was of no use at the time she went to the scene. Describing the weather, Mr. Williams states it as blowing a perfect hurricane, and in all his years at the lighthouse he %ad never known it to blow harder. 'To be correct,' proceeded Mr. Williams, it was at 4.45 from my look-out window I observed the Amazon. She was then anchored at the Mumbles Head.' At twenty min-utes past five he put his lights out, and then the Amazon was at the same spot. A quarter ot an hour afterwa-rds he saw that the Amazon had parted her chains, which would be between 5.30 and 5.50. The wind then blew from the south to the north-west. Mr. Williams added that he could have informed the personp responsible for the launching of the lifeboat when to act, but he was not consulted." I THE REPLY. Farther inquiries were made by our Swan- sea representative on Wednesday. Mr. Bou- laniger (the secretary) and the coxswain and members of the crew emphatically declare that nothing more could have been done than wa6 done. They had no idea of the vessel's danger till she was actually aground at Port Talbot. She disappeared from the anchorage unobserved in thiok weather. No danger signal at all had been, made by her which was heard or could be observed ashore. When they first heaird o. t,hc fate of the vessel they put out, and found her on a lee shore, with breakers extending a couple of miles. They had a narrow escaipe owing to the tow-rope parting, but they got within a mile of her, and found further approach hoTtCttess. It would seem to be a martter of opinion as to whether the crew acted properly or not, but those who know of their readiness in the I LATE CAPTAIN GARRICK.  past will readily conceive that nothing worse than an error of judgment could possibly have occurred in their case. When they last rowed over to Port Talbot a melrunt-holy fatality occurred, and it was then suggested that they put out unneoes- sarily. Another oomeepoixienit corwplaAne that no preparations were made to receive the crew of the Helwick Lightship at Swansea, and that Dr. W. Morgan sent them at his own expense to a coffee tavern. It is quite correct tha.t Dr. Morgan cheerfully rendered this service, but, as we stated yesterday, Mr. Boulanger on hearing of their arrival immediately came up from Mumbles to Swansea and arranged for their accommoda- tion art;, the Sailors' Home. WRECK OFF RHOOSE. I THE VERAJEAN NOW BREAKING UP. Notwithstanding the fact that the weather has moderated, the stra.nded sMp Yerajean, which went ashore on the craggy beach at Fontigary, Rhooc-o. near Ba.rry, during the storm on Monday night, sti-ll lies in a dangerous position, washed about by the tide, and at low water on Wednesday she was foumd to have been pierced in several places by the crags on the beach. Some of the holes in her side and bottom were a couple of feat in diameter. The ship is waterlogged, an'l will, iu all probabiity, go to pieces. The crew are not now standing by the ship. Having being provided with focd by the villagers, some of the mofit destitute were supplied with clothing and money by Mr. R. T. Puneun. Barry Dock, the local rep«rese<ntative of the Shipwrecked Mariners' Society, amd they have left for Cardiff and Barry in quest ot ghdm. BATTERED SAILING SHIP. I PUTS BACK TO BARRY WITH SIX MEN INJURED. The ooal-la-den sailing ship Taarae, which left Port Talbot on Saturday outward bo-u-nd, put into Barry Roadw on Wednesday morning, having expiericiLcad the full force of the gale during the past two days. She had ween very badly damaged. Her decks were cleared by the wind and sea, one boat blown overboard, and the sails torn to shreds. Six of the crew have a,1eo been more or less injured, and the captain had to come ashore at Barry to obtain medical assist- an-oe for the men, some of whom will have to be removed to hospital. GERMAN WITH FOUR LIFEBELTS I ON. In connection with the stranding of the excursion st-eamer Queen off Selsey Bill, it is started that a German of over 6ft. tried to jump into the first lifeboat bofore the women and children. He was pulled bock, and was found to have four lifebelts on. He suc- ceeded, thowever, in jumping into the second lifeboat. On examination the Queen proved to have been badly damiaged as the result Of her buffeting in the gale, and the fact that she was not totally loet is generally held to be due to the skill of the Selsey pilot, an old man of seventy, who took charge. The stem is bent, sponsons smashed in, after-deck rails ripped up, and great havoc done in t<he saloon. It appears the steering chain broke, rendering the engines ineffective. CAPTAIN'S LEG BROKEN. I The Welsh schooner Mary B. Mitchell arrived in the Downs on Wednesday, after a. perilous voyage. 8ihe was in a battered con- dition, her sails were blown away, and she showed other traces of the great gale. The vessel while on her voyage from London to Bangor shipped tremendous seas, which swept her from stem to stern. Oaptain Davies had a broken leg, and other members of tho crew were seriously injured. ADMIRAL IN THE LIFEBOAT. The Hayiing Island lifeboat was launched ¡ during the gale a second time to go to a schooner in distress about six miles from shore. Among the volunteers for the crew was Rear-admirai Start in, second in com maud of the Oha.n.nel Fleet, who took his place in the boat. A tug took the schooner in tow, and the lifeboat on returning to shore was unable to land for an hour ownig to heavy seas. MATE AND SEAMAN DROWNED. I The brig Margaret Moxon, London to Ha,rtlepool, put into Grimsby on Wednesday and reported the loss on Tuesday night by drowning of Robert Lewis (65), mate, and Daniel M'Weil (25), seaman. CARDIFF VESSELS DAMAGED. I Many vessels are taking shelter from the gale in Torbay. They include the Dublin steamer Beone, the Asteria, of Glasgow, the Gwendoline, of Newport, and the Cardigan, of Cardiff. The Cardiff steamer Zone, for the River Plate, with coal, put into Falmouth, damaged by the gale. STORMBOUND AT CHERBOURG. I The steamship Balmoral was BtiM weather- bound at Cherbourg on Wednesday morning. A few of the pangers came over on Tu?e- day night in th? South-Western Channel boat, and said the aM was still tremen- dously rough.


THE MUMBLES LIFEBOAT. I WAS EVERYTHING POSSIBLE I jt) DONE? Ilbe aotion, or want of action, cf the Mumbles lifeboattmen has been much dis- cussed. and in our yesterday's edition we gave the reasons fbr the apparent delay and the version of Mr. Boulanger. The dissatisfaction has, however, been heightened by the priblicaticai Of the follow- ing in a. Swansea paper:- Mr, John Williams, Mumbles lighthottee- fceeper, who watched through powerful glasses the Amazon In her difficulties, informed a press renrresenrbative that he could øee the danm all tbMgm6 a�4 Be was in a position to see her breaking UP about nine o'clock. For the lifeboat to have been of any service she should, in his opinion, have been sent to the reccue-i-ndc-,pL-ndently of signals-at seven o'clock in the morning. She was of no use at the time she went to the scene. Describing the weather, Mr. Williams states it as blowing a perfect hurricane, and in all his years at the lighthouse he %ad never known it to blow harder. 'To be correct,' proceeded Mr. Williams, it was at 4.45 from my look-out window I observed the Amazon. She was then anchored at the Mumbles Head.' At twenty min-utes past five he put his lights out, and then the Amazon was at the same spot. A quarter ot an hour afterwa-rds he saw that the Amazon had parted her chains, which would be between 5.30 and 5.50. The wind then blew from the south to the north-west. Mr. Williams added that he could have informed the personp responsible for the launching of the lifeboat when to act, but he was not consulted." I THE REPLY. Farther inquiries were made by our Swan- sea representative on Wednesday. Mr. Bou- laniger (the secretary) and the coxswain and members of the crew emphatically declare that nothing more could have been done than wa6 done. They had no idea of the vessel's danger till she was actually aground at Port Talbot. She disappeared from the anchorage unobserved in thiok weather. No danger signal at all had been, made by her which was heard or could be observed ashore. When they first heaird o. t,hc fate of the vessel they put out, and found her on a lee shore, with breakers extending a couple of miles. They had a narrow escaipe owing to the tow-rope parting, but they got within a mile of her, and found further approach hoTtCttess. It would seem to be a martter of opinion as to whether the crew acted properly or not, but those who know of their readiness in the I LATE CAPTAIN GARRICK.  past will readily conceive that nothing worse than am error of judgment could possibly have occurred in their case. When they last rowed over to Port Talbot a melrunt-holy fatality occurred, and it was then suggested that they put out unneoes- sarily. Another oomeepoixienit corwplaAne that no preparations were made to receive the crew of the Helwick Lightship at Swansea, and that Dr. W. Morgan sent them at his own expense to a coffee tavern. It is quite correct tha.t Dr. Morgan cheerfully rendered this service, but, as we stated yesterday, Mr. Boulanger on hearing of their arrival immediately came up from Mumbles to Swansea and arranged for their accommoda- tion art;, the Sailors' Home. WRECK OFF RHOOSE. I THE VERAJEAN NOW BREAKING UP. Notwithstanding the fact that the weather has moderated, the stra.nded sMp Yerajean, which went ashore on the craggy beach at Fontigary, Rhooc-o. near Ba.rry, during the storm on Monday night, sti-ll lies in a dangerous position, washed about by the tide, and at low water on Wednesday she was foumd to have been pierced in several places by the crags on the beach. Some of the holes in her side and bottom were a couple of feat in diameter. The ship is waterlogged, an'l will, iu all probabiity, go to pieces. The crew are not now standing by the ship. Having being provided with focd by the villagers, some of the mofit destitute were supplied with clothing and money by Mr. R. T. Puneun. Barry Dock, the local rep«rese<ntative of the Shipwrecked Mariners' Society, amd they have left for Cardiff and Barry in quest ot ghdm. BATTERED SAILING SHIP. I PUTS BACK TO BARRY WITH SIX MEN INJURED. The ooal-la-den sailing ship Taarae, which left Port Talbot on Saturday outward bo-u-nd, put into Barry Roadw on Wednesday morning, having expiericiLcad the full force of the gale during the past two days. She had ween very badly damaged. Her decks were cleared by the wind and sea, one boat blown overboard, and the sails torn to shreds. Six of the crew have a,1eo been more or less injured, and the captain had to come ashore at Barry to obtain medical assist- an-oe for the men, some of whom will have to be removed to hospital. GERMAN WITH FOUR LIFEBELTS I ON. In connection with the stranding of the excursion st-eamer Queen off Selsey Bill, it is started that a German of over 6ft. tried to jump into the first lifeboat bofore the women and children. He was pulled bock, and was found to have four lifebelts on. He suc- ceeded, thowever, in jumping into the second lifeboat. On examination the Queen proved to have been badly damiaged as the result Of her buffeting in the gale, and the fact that she was not totally loet is generally held to be due to the skill of the Selsey pilot, an old man of seventy, who took charge. The stem is bent, sponsons smashed in, after-deck rails ripped up, and great havoc done in t<he saloon. It appears the steering chain broke, rendering the engines ineffective. CAPTAIN'S LEG BROKEN. I The Welsh schooner Mary B. Mitchell arrived in the Downs on Wednesday, after a. perilous voyage. 8ihe was in a battered con- dition, her sails were blown away, and she showed other traces of the great gale. The vessel while on her voyage from London to Bangor shipped tremendous seas, which swept her from stem to stern. Oaptain Davies had a broken leg, and other members of tho crew were seriously injured. ADMIRAL IN THE LIFEBOAT. The Hayiing Island lifeboat was launched ¡ during the gale a second time to go to a schooner in distress about six miles from shore. Among the volunteers for the crew was Rear-admirai Start in, second in com maud of the Oha.n.nel Fleet, who took his place in the boat. A tug took the schooner in tow, and the lifeboat on returning to shore was unable to land for an hour ownig to heavy seas. MATE AND SEAMAN DROWNED. I The brig Margaret Moxon, London to Ha,rtlepool, put into Grimsby on Wednesday and reported the loss on Tuesday night by drowning of Robert Lewis (65), mate, and Daniel M'Weil (25), seaman. CARDIFF VESSELS DAMAGED. I Many vessels are taking shelter from the gale in Torbay. They include the Dublin steamer Beone, the Asteria, of Glasgow, the Gwendoline, of Newport, and the Cardigan, of Cardiff. The Cardiff steamer Zone, for the River Plate, with coal, put into Falmouth, damaged by the gale. STORMBOUND AT CHERBOURG. I The steamship Balmoral was BtiM weather- bound at Cherbourg on Wednesday morning. A few of the pangers came over on Tu?e- day night in th? South-Western Channel boat, and said the aM was still tremen- dously rough.

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