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. FEELING OF THE MASTERS.

MR. H. CRAWSHAY DECLINES TO…

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A SEAMAN SUFFOCATED ON BOARD…

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ANOTHER DREADFUL CALAMITY…

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ANOTHER DREADFUL CALAMITY AT SEA. LOSS OF THE SCREW STEAMER CORTES, OF LONDON, AND TWENTY-FIVE MEN. NARROW ESCAPE OF FOUR OF THE CREW. LANDING OF THE SURVIVORS AT CARDIFF. Another calamity has now to be added to the sad list of disasters at sea. during the month of December, a month which will be long remembered from the severity of its gales, and the immense destruction of human life resulting from them. The Bay of Biscay is also be- coming noted from the number and extent of the fatali- ties that occurred there during the month. Following en the loss of the La Plata, with its sixty lives, came that of the Alpha, with its nine lives a third and a fourth, with its six lives and we have now to record the loss of an- other large vessel, with a crew of twenty-nine hands, only four of whom survived to tell how the catastrophe hap- pened. All these events occurred within a short time of each other, and arose from circumstances beyond human control, and the result showed that the best-found vessels are unable to weather such severe gales as visited the western coast of jEurope during last month. The last casualty yet known as having occurred in the Bay of Biscay is that of the total destruction of the screw steamer Cortes, and loss of twenty-five of her crew. The details of this last catastrophe are brief, for the survivors, four in number, only arrived at Cardiff on Monday, and were almost instantly sent on by express to London. The Cortes was an iron screw steamer, built in 1872 classed A 1 at Lloyd's of, a thousand tons register and be longed to Mr M'Andrew, of London a large shipowner, and well-known at Cardiff. She was a very fine vessel, ex- tremely well built, and fitted up with every, modern improvement in shipbuilding. A short time since she was chartered by Messrs. Cory Brothers to carry 1,500 tons of coal from Cardiff to Aden, aport on the South Coast of Arabia, and to reach which she was to pass through the Mediterranean Sea, the Suez Canal, and then down the Red Sea. Her crew were shipped at London, and she was commanded by Captain John King, a young but experienced officer, and one whose ability had recom- mended him some time since to the owner. She sailed from Cardiff early on Monday morning, the 14th of December. The wind was light, and though slightly against them did not stop her progress, and for the first 24 hours everything went on very smoothly. By Tuesday evening the vessel was rapidly approaching the Bay of Biscay, with every appearance of a continuance of fine weather, but without mwch indication the wind began to increase, and in the course of a few hours it blew a hurricane of fearful violence. The sea rolled high, chopping about, and knocking against the sides,[makirig the ship quiver with every blow. At midnight the gale seemed to have increased, and when entering the Bay of Biscay was rolling heavily. Before leaving Cardiff she had taken on board a small steam launch, she had taken on board a small steam launch, built by a nrm at Bristol, This was lashed forward, but the rolling of the ship caused the he lings to break, and the launch slipped on one side. This caused the Cortes to keel over, and the sea to wasb-over her deck. Everything loose was soon swept off. The fury of the waves broke in the syklights, and the water began to pour down the cabin and the engine- roeto, without any means of getting it out, aud it was with the utmost difficulty that the men could stand on the deck. To add to the disaster, the chain of the wheel broke, and the the ship was then left to drift where the .wind and sea tossed her. The captain endeavoured to do all that was possible to get the ship right butcould not. Wave after wave broke over her, the water poured into the engine room and the fires were soon extinguished. Although fitted with some few sails they were insufficient to control her and the captain directed the bsats to be got ready, and into the boat at the stern he ordered the four survivors to get, to be <in readiness fer any further contingencies. These men were George- Bye and Frederick Cross, both able -seamen, Brightlingsea, Essex, Edward James Sew«ll, fireman, of Bermondrey, and Augus McNeal Plaistow, Scotland, also a fireman. The boat was attached to the vessel by a tow rope, and was drawn by the Cortes wherever she was driven. On Wednesday morning, the 16th, the gale still blew with great violence, but scarcely a sail was to be seen. About ten o'clock in the morning, the tow rope, which had been straining for some time owing to the rolling of the vessel, broke, and the boat went adrift from the Cortes. For a short time they saw the steamer at intervals, but they were often engulphed in a wave and expected every moment that the boat would upset, the waves almost filling her at times with water. The OBceo, a large barque belonging to Prince Edward's Island, and bound for the East Indies, was the only vessel which appeared to have seen the Cortes atall. She was close to her, but was unable to render her any assistance, but she succeeded in receiving the four men in the boat about half an hour after she got adrift. The gale was at this time very severe, but the captain of the Osceo endeavoured to get near the Cortes. He failed to do so in time, and those on the deck saw the unfortunate vessel go down stem foremost, and as they believed, carrying with her the twenty-five men who were left on board. As from the rolling of waters and the height of waves they could only see the Cortes at intervals, they were uncertain whether the remaining boats, three in number, were launched, but if they were, all on board must have perished, as two of the boats were seen by the crew of the Cortes bottom upwards and no boat could have lived in such a gale for half an hour. The Osceo passed on her way, but not stopping at Gibraltar she entered the Mediteranian, where in a short time she met a French barque bouad for Marseilles, and transferred the survivors to that vessel. This vessel when a short distance east of Gibraltar overhauled the Leader, a brigantine bound for Cardiff from Parlermo with a cargo of oranges. The French vesssl hailed the Englishman, and asksd for a passage to Gibraltar for four shipwrecked seamen. The captain of the Leader replied that as he had fruits on board he could not stop at Gibraltar, but would take them on to any port in England, and they would arrive there almost as soon as they would if he landed them at Gibraltar. This was accepted, and the men were transferred from the French vessel to the Leader, which after ten days sail arrived at Cardiff. Mr. Bovey,'Lloyd's agent at Cardiff, is also thejagent of the owners of the Cortes andlof the Leader, and as soon as Mr. Bovey was made acquainted with the circumstances a telegram was sent to the owner, and also Lloyds. The men were landed about twelve o clock at Cardiff, and a telegram having been received from the owner of the Cortes to send them on at once to London, Mr. Bovey took them in a cab and paid their railway fare by the half-past twelve o'clock train to London, so that the men were in Cardiff scarcely half-an- hour. On board the Leader the shipwrecked men were extremely well treated, and each of the vessels went out of their course to send the survivors home by themost direct vessel they met with with. The Cortes was almost given up for lost some days since, as she .should have passed Gibraltar, or have entered the Suez Canal long before in- telligence arrived of her loss. From each of these places telegrams would have been sent to the owners had she passed. The survivors of this ill-fated vessel have made the customary depositions before a public notary. After stating that the fury of the gale cleared the decks, and nearly filled the engine-room, putting out the fires, they add that the waves broke adrift a launch which went over the side, but rebounded with violence, striking the ship, making a jagged hole througe which the water flowed into the main hold The ship made water fast, and the pumps being ckoked with coal dust she commenced to settle fast in the water. The master ordered the starboard lifeboat to be launched. A barpue was in sight and signals of distress being hoisted she bore down to the ship. The lifeboat was put into the sea, and three of the survivors, together with another fireman, got into her. The sea. broke adnft. a launch, which went over the side but rebounded with violence, striking the ship, and making a jagged hole, through which the water flowed into the main-hold. An attemptfwas made to launch the starboard cutter, but it capsized, and three hands were drowned. One was washed on board again. The small boat was then launched, and one of the survivors and three other bands got into her. The boat had no plug, and she drifted away without oars. One of the men placed a stocking in the plug hole, in order to keep the water out, and she was thus kept afloat. The port lifeboat was then launched, but it capsized soon after it was in the water, and all hands in her were drowned. The barque suon came up to the starboard lifeboat, and three the survivors got into her. Before, however, the other fireman could do so the boat broke adrift. Lines were thrown, and one made fast, but it parted, and the boat drifted and was lost sight of. A line was then thrown from the barque to the small boats alongside, which, however, being with- out oars, ran stern on to the barque. Her bows were smashed, and she immediately sank, S. E. Sewell being the only one of the party saved by taking hold of the mizen chains of the barque. In the meantime the Cortes was seen to go down head first.

!CARDIFF NATURALISTS' SOCIETY.'

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