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- - - - - -.! =.T BANGOR BOARD…


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THE LATE ACCIDENT ON BOARD THE EBLANA STEAMER AT HOLYHEAD. As some little excitement still appears to exist in the community at Holyhead, regarding the rccent accident on board the EbJana sfcamrr, "J "hie), the unfortunate gentleman, [r. William Septimus Saunders, came to a premature death, as the verdict of the jury contains something like an implied censure on that point in the management of the City of Dublin Company's boats which has reference to the opening of the gangway before arriving at the pier, in order to save the mails, and as it is said the relatives of the deceased intend taking some ulterior measures on the evidence given at the inquest, our reporter has furnished us with the particulars of the inquiry, which we give for the perusal of our readers. It will be remembered that the casualty occurred on the evening of Sunday the 1st of December. The deceased was forty-seven years of age, and has left a wife and six children, who arc now residing at Limerick. We have been informed that his first wife and two daughters were drownell many years since on their voyage home from the Mauritius. The inquest was held on the 5th instant, at the house of Jlr, Pauling, the Hibernia Hotel, Holy- head, before the coroner for Anglesey, IViii. Jones, Esq." of Llangefni, the body at the time lying at the Star Ta- vern, kept by Ir. Isaac Woodall. The first witness called was Lieutenant Aaron Stark Symes, R.N., the commander of the Eblana, who stated that he saw the deceased come on board at Kingstown. It was blowing strong from the S.S.W., but moderated as they approached Holyhead. There was then not much swell, the wind being off the land. They were going at full speed, until they should come into a position to round the pier. The engines were slowed when they were about GOO yards from the pier, and stopped abreast of the Lighthouse. Davies, the third mate, then told him that there was a man over- board. From the confusion which prevailed in conse- quence, he had to repeat his order twice to put the helm hard a-port before he was obeyed. When the deceased was brought up the steps of Ihe wooden jetty, after being in the water, witness was close to him, and, thinking he saw some signs of life in him, directed that he should be taken to the first house, and that a doctor should be sent for, as he considered he would be better attended to than on board. Captain Tully, the superintendent of the Dublin Company's steam-boats, heard these directions, and took charge of the deceased. Witness had gone upon the platform of the paddle-box previous to coming to the new harbour light. The gangway was not open theu. The carpenter was stationed there to attend to it and the ropes or springs leading to it, The gangway was opened generally previous to coming alongside the pier, by or- der, to be prepared for delivering the mails. He consi- dered this perfectly safe for the passengers, provided that the carpenter did not leave his station. On the evening in question, they had just sufficient time to land the map., which was the first object. The bags were gene- rally placed on the gangway side, and the passengers' luggage opposite. The passengers were not permitted to go ashore tili the mails were landed. It was very dark. The moment he heard of the accident, he ordered the boat to be lowered, and the life buoy to be thrown over- board, which was immediately done. There was a strong ebb tide, and it was four or five minutes before the de- ceased was picked up by the lioblers, who happened to be in their boat outside of the pier head. Morgan Lloyd, the carpenter, saw the deceased stand- ing on the fore part of the gangway, his left hand on the funnel-shroud, immediately after the gangway was opened. He had walked past it steal lily, and appeared in good health. In a minute afterwards, while witness was adjusting some of the ropes, he saw deceased looking round the stanchion. He appeared to lose his balance and fell overboard. There were two globe iamps about three yards from the gangway, and they were lighted at the time. Another passenger stood by at the time. The moment deceased fell, witness cried out" a man over- board," and called to him to lay hold of the spring rope which was hanging ont close to where he fell. Witness opened the gangway, as he had been accustomed to do for fifteen years. Isaac Davies, one of the mariners, corroborated the foregoing evidence. William Jones, one of the boatmen who picked up the deceased, stated that they found him insensible. He merely groaned. Lewis Jones, another of the boatmen, said he assisted to undress the deceased. All the articles belonging to him were delivered to Capt. Tully. Lieut. John Tully, the agent to the City of Dublin Company, produced an inventory of the articles, which he took at the time, He gave them to the police constable. The articles were handed in by Enoch Williams, and given to Robert John Saunders, Esq., of Eltham, Kent, half-pay officer and Government Inspector of Factories, the brother of the deceased. Mr. Henry Allen Duncan, surgeon, deposed that hay- ing been sent for a little after seven o'clock on the Sunday evening, he found the deceased lying at the house of 3ir. Lascelles, the harbour master, about 400 yards from the wooden jetty. He was lying upon the floor perfectly senseless and apparently dead. Witness tried the usual means of recovery without effect, and was of opinion that deceased died from the combined effects of syncope and concussion, and not from suffocation by drowning. There were no external injuries, but a violent fall into the water might cause a severe concussion and produce syncope. :lhr;:tn: o}et'Icoe:il r:rrI:t=; judicious. A person subject to asthmn would be less c. pable of resisting the shock which the deceased must have sustained. Mr. John Lascelles, the harbour-master of Holyhead, gave it as his opinion that there was no necessity for the gangway to be unshipped until the vessel should have arrived alongside the pier. It would not have made a difference of more than two minutes in the transmission of the mail. There was always a ground swell running into t"e bay, f.nd at a distance of 300 yards from the stone pier the danger to the passengers would be much in- creased by the vessel rolling, if the gangways were un- shipped. A vessel coming at full speed, at a distance of 30 or 40 yards from the stone pier, could not have been stopped at the wooden jetty in the manner the Eblana was. She was coming in a little faster than usual. She was higher out of the water than the other vessels, and it was necessary to bring her up with greater speed than was used with them. He could not see that there was a greater necessity for the gangway being unshipped so soon by reason of the Eblana being higher out of the water. A vessel arriving at 43 minutes past ü, and the mail train starting at 7, the captain had no time to spare and it was his duty to use all the expedition in his power, but not to endanger the life of any person on board. Capt, Symes brought the vessel in in a seaman like man- ner, as lie has always done. No damage was done to the jetty. The gangway could be unshipped in less than a minute or a minute and a half after getting alongside the pier. The mail guard that night had not time to give a receipt for the bags, and said he would send it the follow- ing morning. It would be as much as they could do in seventeen minutes to unship the gangways and deliver the bags at the railway station. On Monday evening when the Eblana arrived, about four minutes after six, the gangway was closed. Edward Lyon, the steward of the vessel, deposed that the deceased was in the cabin during the greater part of the passage. He took nothing to eat or drink, and ap- peared in good health and perfectly steady. Some further evidence was given by Capt. Symes, the carpenter, and Air. Lascelles, of no material importance to enable the jury to decide as to the cause of the accident, but as to prudential provision against such misfortunes. Iron rods having been suggested as a proper precaution, Mr. Lascelles said he had never seen them in a steamer They would be an effectual protection, but there might as well be a gangway at once, which might be unshipped in about a minute or a minute and a half. The jury, which was a highly respectable one, returned a verdict44 that the deceased came to his death acciden- tally, by reason of the gangway being prematurely un- shipped, for the purpose of expediting the delivery of the mail bags, and the deceased falling over such gangway into the sea; but H appears it has been usual for some time past to unship the gaugway previous to getting and se. curing the steam paeket alongside the pier." They ap- pended to this verdict a note to the following effect:- The jury conceive it is not safe for the passengers tra- velling with the mail boats from Kingstown to Holyhead that such a system should be any longer tolerated that some better system of vigilance be adopted and that al- though it was the duty of the carpenter, Morgan Red- cliffe, to attend to the gangway of the Eblana steamer when the accident occurred, still that there was no cul- pable negligence on his part." On perusing this evidence it appears to us that the ac- cident was one of those belonging to the dangers of the seas, and was as such produced by the incautious conduct of the deceased in venturing so near the open gangway, at such a time and under such circumstances, as it has by the gangway being opened so early through the anxiety of the Commander and carpenter of the vessel to do their duty to their employers and the public. It is a melancholy matter, and might, perhaps, have been avoided by the exercise of a little more apprehension on both sides.

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