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Boating Disaster at Pwllheli.

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Boating Disaster at Pwllheli. LOSS OF TWELVE LIVES. A distressing boating accident occurred at the South Beach, Pwllheli, on Saturday afternoon. A large party of excursionists arrived in the town during the morning in connection with the Church Sunday Schools of Llanberis, Dinorwic, Llamug, &c. Members of two families engaged a rowing boat, which belonged to Captain Rees Williams, harbour master, but was in charge of Robert Thomas, a youth of about 19 years of age. The party numbered twelve, exclusive of the 'boatman. They proceeded out to sea, the weather being rather boisterous at the time, and the boat was upset some distance from the shore. There was a small boat near at hand, and the boatman, on rising to the surface, was rescued. All the others disappeared Four bodies were recovered, and search parties were organised with the view of recovering the others, but after several hours work their efforts proved unsuccessful. The names of those who lost their lives are:— John Hughes, post-office, Dinorwic, and three children; Owen Thomas, Tynyfanwg, wife and three children; Charles Davies, Bron Clidir; and two children of Thomas Hughes, Tanybwlch Dinorwic. The bodies recovered are those ot Mrs. Thomas, Ellen Thomas (daughter), Katie Hushes and O. P. Hughes. All the persons drowned belonged to St. Mary's Church, Dinorwic. Thomas, the sole survivor, said the boat was the property of Captain Williams, of Pwllheli. The passengers were brought to him by Mr. Owen, -employed by Captain Williams. He (Thomas) did not at first think there were too many in the boat, but he told John Hughes, who engaged the boat from Mr. Owen, when Hughes brought three children to the boat in addition to the original number, that there would be too many. Hughes, however, brought the children into the boat. All the partv sat aft, having been placed there by Mr. Owffln. There was no one pulling but himself (Thomas). The boat contained four oars, and he iised two of them. He took his seat on the forward thwart. John Hughes also sat forward on the bow, ahead of him. He had been out about 25 minutes, and was about a mile from the shore, when, in turning for the return journey, Hughes's son shouted to his father that there was water coming into the boat. J. Hughes then went walking clumsily past Thomas, and as he passed, putting his hand on Thomas's shoulder he sprang over the oar. He (Thomas) told him not to go aft jor the boat would go down. 'The boat then went "Stern on to the waves, Hughes's weight being just enough to dip it under the water, which at this spot was about four fathoms deep. The stern went -under the water, and the people ran to one side and the boat capsized right on the top of them. They had no tackle or anything loose in the boat .except the oars, so he did not think any of the occupants were struck and stunned when the boat capsized. After the boat capsized the first time he caught hold of the side and gave himself a, shove out. Then the boat captised a second time, and floated bottom upwards. When he first shoved the boat she partially righted, and all who were under were cleared out. There were two little boys close to him at the time, and he also noticed a little girl about three years old. She held out her arms to him, and he got hold of ber and held her up for some time. Then he saw Peters in a boat, about 200 yards away. He shouted to Peters, for he was then failing fast; his heavy seaboots and clothes were dragging him down. In fact he was going under with the little girl. She was drowning, if not drowned then. The waves had washed the boat away, and lie became so fatigued that he had to let her go. He could hear two little boys screaming, but he 'forgot everything afterwards until Peters picked him up. He did not know how Peters managed it. Had he been five minutes later he (Thomas) would not now have been alive. He did not I think any of the others were then alive, because they were all under the boat for a minute or two when it capsized the first time. 'In conclusion Thomas said he did not make any bargain with the people; he only took them in obedience to orders. William Peters, when interviewed, gave a very clear and straightforward narrative of his share in thereseue of Thomas. He said he was a commercial traveller, but often went out at Pwllheli in his father's boats. He went out on Saturday with two girls, about eleven years of age, from Llanberis. It was then blowing from the south-west. Robert Thomas followed him in Captain Williams's boat. He thought Thomas's boat looked rather heavy, but when it came nearer he modified his views on that point. He went out for about three-quarters of an hour, when one of the girls became sick, and he turned back to take them ashore. He happened to turn his head as he went and missed the other boat. Listening he beard some shouting and screaming, and saw someone holding up his hand. It turned out to be Robert Thomas. He pulled towards him as hard as he could. He was then three hundred yards nearer the shore than Thomas. The girls became excited and frightened and wanted to jump out to the boat, so in order to save them he held them tight, practically in the bottom of the boat. He was then at liberty to resume his rowing. They reached Thomas at last, and he picked him over the bow. Thomas was very wild and excited, and did not know what he was doing, so he (Peters) placed him under a seat, and told the girls not to stir. The next thing he saw was a woman—Mrs. Thomas—floating along- side. He tried to get hold of her, but Thomas and the girls were so excited that they went on one side of the boat, which nearly capsized. The body of the woman then slipped under the boat, and the sea came into the boat. He tried to dive in after her, but his legs got fast in the boat. and his head was under water for some time. He could do no more so he caught hold of the oars again and pulled for the shore. He only noticed four bodies on the surface. About half way to the beach he noticed his father in a boat, and directed him to where Mrs. Thomas's body was. After landing the girls and Thomas he asked the people there if any of them would come back with him, but no one answered. There were many people watching him, but no one offered to help him, with his burden. He saw on the surface besides the body two caps, four hats, one coat, and two oars. As to the cause of the disaster, his opinion was that the boat was too heavily laden at the stern, and that when the man J. Hughes also came to the stern it went under. The boat came ashore near the Gimlet Rock. This was the first boating accident which had occurred at Pwllheli. When he went out the second time he met Owen Thomas, Greenfield, and others. They tried to right the capsized boat in order to see if there was anyone under it, but found there was no one. One whole family, that from Tyddynfawnog, ]t their aves. The case of Mr. Hughes, Clogwyn Gwyn. is made sadder by the fact that he had left his wife at home ill. The bodies of Mrs. Thomas, Ellen Thomas, her daughter, and Willie Edward Williams, her son, and Cissie Hughes were those recovered. Drs. Samuel Griffithsand Rees, Pwllheli, and Dr. Thomas, of Nevin, and the police, under Supt. Jones, were in attendance upon the shore, and rendered every possible assistance. It was at first thought that the girl, Nellie Thomas, would revive, for the body was warm, but every effort proved in vain. Big tears trickled down the cheeks of Supt. Jones when, after half-an-hour's effort to bring about artificial respiration, he turned away tired and baffled. So near," said he. and yet she's gone." When the excursion train steamed into Carnar- von Station at nine o'clock on Saturday night the platforms were crowded with sympathisers, and the scene was a pitiful one. The whole of the Llan- beris Valley has been cast into deep gloom. It is a notable fact ihat all who were drowned belonged to the Dinorwic school. The excursionists were bigh in their praise of the efforts made by the Pwllheli people, and said that every kindness was shown to them. Some of the clergy who went with the trip did not return, but remained at Pwllheli. Mr. E. R. Davies, the Town Clerk of Pwllheli, very promptly sent men out to search for the bodies, but though they laboured hard all Saturday night they failed to recover any. Then on Sunday morning boatmen went out with large salmon nets, three-quarters of a mile long, but their efforts as well as those of some trawlers who were fishing in the bay, proved unsuccessful. Mr. Owen Jones, Aberkin House, who has a record of having saved ten lives from drowning, was the first from the shore to arrive upon the scene. In the course of an interview he said that he found three of the bodies recovered, the first being that of the lad O. P. Thomas. He did not think the boat was overloaded, It ought to carry the number who were in it nicely. The fact of the matter was they were turning back and a wave got in at the stern There were no proper by-laws at Pwllheli and no inspector of boats. The Press Association learns that Mr. William Jones, M.P., in whose constituency Pwllheli is situated, intends to call the attention of the Home Secretary to-dav (Tuesday) to the terrible accident there, and to ask whether regulations could not be made and enforced to prevent the overcrowding of pleasure boats.

BRYNCRUG, Mer. «

WORLD IN A WEEK.

MR. DARLINGTON

LLANYBYTHER.

LLANBRYNMAIR.

YR WYTHNOS. ———i—saggar^—r

A NEW WELSH NOVEL.

PLANU COED. -

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