| Mauritius Shipping - The Late Gales
The following particulars of the late gale, and of the dreadful destruction of property consequent on it, are derived from an eye witness who was one of the sufferers. " Since the first of the month the weather had been tempestuous and threatening, until the fourth, when it blew very hard from the eastward, accompanied by heavy rain. Towards 4 o'clock P.M., the sea had risen to a terrific height, and continued until towards eleven o'clock P.M., the wind varying from E. N. E. to N. N. W. At eleven the vessels began to drive from their anchors, and the French ship the Bordeaux, of Bordeaux, drove on shore on the reef opposite Fort William. She was followed about half-past twelve by the Hugh Matthie, of Liverpool, who in endeavouring to run into the harbour, was thrown on the beach not thirty yards from the above-named vessel ; these vessels at the time they drifted had all their masts standing. The next in rotation was the Mariam, of Calcutta ; this unfortunate vessel began to drift about eleven o'clock, and got athwart hawse of the bark Defiance of Madras, carried away bar jib boom, bowsprit, boats. &c., and her own larboard quarter gallery, boat and poop rails; about a quarter before twelve, the Marriam's s fore and main masts were cut away, and about two o'clock A.M., she also went on shore close to the other two ships already there. The bark Malay likewise shared the same fate towards half-past three o'clock P.M., on the 5th, she having cut away all her masts. The Amity, of London, in endeavouring to run into the harbour towards noon got on shore on the weather reef ; and cut away her masts. The Defiance alone rode out the gale, with the loss of her fore and main masts, rudder, and other serious damage. The only vessel out of all those at anchor at the Bell Buoy that received no injury was the ship Louisa Bailly, who had the good fortune to escape into the harbour about midnight on the 4th. The fate of the Recovery was equally fortunate ; she went to sea during the afternoon of Thursday, and returned on Saturday. The exertions made on Friday for saving the crews and Coolie passengers on board the different vessels were most praiseworthy, and we are happy to say they succeeded so well that we have heard of only one case of drowning." In conclusion we trust that the Government will do something for those unfortunate persons who are thus left destitute on our shores by the will of God.-
Le Mauricien, January 10.
TERRIFIC STORM.- This island was visited again by a terrific storm on the 21st February, the following are the particulars:
The American ship Macon which had been lying at the Bell Buoy for eleven days, was on the point of slipping her cables to put to sea, when unfortunately the wind shifted suddenly and drove her, about twelve o'clock A.M., on the reef off the English Channel, opposite the Half-moon Battery, where she is now lying a total wreck. Shortly afterwards the masts were cut away. The whole of her cargo it is expected, will be saved. The barque Surat Merchant was off the harbour in the morning. The steamer went out to bring her in, but on account of the heavy seas her endeavours were of no avail. The vessel was obliged to anchor near Tombeau Bay, and about four o'clock P.M. was driven on the reef off Pointe aux Roches. She is lying on her beam ends with all her masts standing. The Coolies and crew are saved. The schooner Ann, anchored at the Bell Buoy, was equally thrown, about four o'clock P.M., on the reef off Fort St. George, where she remained until eight o'clock P.M. the next day, when she was got off by the assistance of the Port Department, and towed safe into the harbour by the steamer. The vessels in the harbour suffered more or less. The most injured are the Thomas Jones and the William Wilson ; the first has her starboard quarter and bulwarks knocked away ; the latter is aground on the mud opposite Caudan, and has her larboard quarter also knocked away. The Hugh Matthie, which is on the reef off Fort William since the gale of the 4th January last, has turned over on her larboard beam ends, lying with keel out of water. The party of men that were at work on board were caught by the storm, and obliged to remain there all night, trusting to providence to be relieved from their perilous situation. The next morning three of them were found to be missing. A boat from the aforesaid vessel, with nine men, was capsized near Fort George. The men reached the quarantine station and were saved.
Le Mauricien, February 24.
>P 37 SG&SGTL 20 Apr 1844
^ back to top ^