THE SINKING OF THE CUTTER FLORA MACDONALD
MONDAY 2 FEBRUARY 1874
MANUKAU BAR, MANUKAU HARBOUR, AUCKLAND, NORTH ISLAND
A piece of mast identified as belonging to the Flora Macdonald, cutter, has been picked up by a vessel which arrived at Onehunga. There is little doubt now that the cutter was the Flora. Bags of flour have been seen floating, but there is no sign of the bodies of the passengers.
J. GRAHAM was a married man, and a large land owner in the Raglan district
A special Manukau Heads telegram to the "Star" says that search has been made for miles along the coast for any trace of the lost cutter, but not a vestige of the wreck has been seen. It appears that the vessel when on the bar kept broaching-to, and was unmanagable, showing that something was wrong with the steering apparatus. At the time the sea struck her, she was broadside on, the wave passed right over her, and she was never seen after. WELLINGTON INDEPENDENT, VOLUME XXIX, ISSUE 4018, 4 FEBRUARY 1874
Piaka JOHNSTONE, a half caste, brother-in-law to W. H. BRABANT, R.M., Opotiki
ROBERTSON, an unmarried man about eighteen years of age, who arrived from Great Britain about a month ago in the Hindostan, and was going to join his uncle in Raglan
T. GALVIN, about twelve years of age, the son of W. Galvin, a blacksmith in Raglan
Miss PHILLIPS, aged four years, the daughter of J. Phillips, farmer, Raglan
Captain J L KENNY leaves a wife and family at Onehunga.
THE LOSS OF THE FLORA MACDONALD, CUTTER - LATER PARTICULARS.
Little doubt remains that the cutter lost on the Manukau Bar, on Monday morning, was the Flora Macdonald, Captain J. L. Kenny. Pieces of wreck have been picked up while floating about, which have been identified in Onehunga as belonging to this vessel. No hopes are entertained for the safety of either the crew or passengers, as all were swallowed up by the sea at the time of the sad catastrophe.
Their names were J. L. KENNY (master), Alfred POWELL (seaman), Robert WILLIAMSON (lad).
Passengers: J. GRAHAM, hotelkeeper of Raglan, P. JOHNSON, halfcaste, T. GALVEN, lad, son of Mr. Galven, blacksmith of Raglan, - ROBERTSON, lately arrived from England; and a little girl named PHILLIPS, daughter of Mr. J. Philips, of Raglan. Two other children were observed on board the cutter shortly before she left Onehunga, but it is at present uncertain whether they were passengers by her. We are informed that although Mr. Nazer had booked a passage by the vessel, he fortunately remained behind.
Yesterday the cutter Rangatira brought in a piece of a mast described as the pillow of the croastrees, which was picked up on Monday evening off the Huia. This was identified by Mr. George Dean as having belonged to the Flora Macdonald. It was also shewn to Mr. Vause, the builder of the cutter Dawn, who at once stated that it aid not belong to the latter vessel, as it was painted, whereas that belonging to the Dawn was varnished. A ten-gallon water keg was also found floating off Poponga, by a man named Smith, who took it to Waikawai. The description of the keg answers to that belonging to the Flora Macdonald. No bodies have as yet been picked up. Captain Wing left yesterday morning in his boat in tow of the Wellington, to the scene of the disaster, in the hopes of being able to be of some service, but had not returned to Onehunga at the time of our reporter leaving for town.
With regard to the melancholy accident by which eight human beings found a watery grave, we may remark that although the bar was signalled as dangerous at the time of Capt. Kenny endeavouring to cross it, he in all probability had no alternative but to run the gauntlet. His vessel was evidently jammed down, and it was impossible for him to have stood out to sea, the circumstances with a sailing vessel are so different from a steamer, and no blame should therefore be attached to the memory of the man as having recklessly exposed his vessel and the lives under his charge. In all probability the helmsman was washed from the tiller by one of the immense rollers, and before he could recover himself the cutter broached to, fell over on her beam-ends, and sank. It was the work of a few moments, and although observed by the signalman from, the heights above, no human aid was possible to save the lives of those on board. The waters compassed them about, and the depths closed them round about.
NEW ZEALAND HERALD, VOLUME XI, ISSUE 3816, 4 FEBRUARY 1874
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