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A Committee for the ensuing year was appointed, and a resolution passed authorising Captain Hasted to present the thanks of the meeting to the British and Foreign Sailors' Society for their liberal grant of a Bethel flag, hymn books, and tracts; and to the Religious Tract Society for their kind grant of £2 worth of tracts. Votes of thanks were also passed to the ladies who had furnished the tables for the tea, and to the chairman; and the meeting broke up a little before ten o'clock, highly delighted with the proceedings of the evening.
SHIPWRECKS IN THE ICE. The arrivals during the last few days from the Atlantic have brought sad intelligence respecting losses of a large number of vessels, amidst the floating fields of icebergs in the western latitudes; and, among the number, we regret to add, one was from one of the Irish ports, with between eighty and 100 persons on board, every soul of whom is supposed to have gone down in the unfortunate vessel, and perished. Great quantities of ice are generally looked for by the traders in those parts of the Atlantic about the months of April and May, the result of the break-up of the frost in the Arctic seas, which are driven down to the southward by the force of the currents. The masses that have appeared this season exceed anything of the kind that has for years been met with. They have been immense. Fields of ice, some hundreds of miles in extent, towering up in all manner of forms to a very great elevation, have swept the waters of the Atlantic, and there is too much reason to fear that the losses appended form a very few of the mishaps that have occurred. The ill-fated vessel, in which so many are believed to have perished, was from Londonderry, bound for Quebec. Ten days prior to her being discovered entangled in the ice the 27th of April-she was spoken with by the master of the Oriental, from Liverpool. She was scarce of water, having had boisterous weather, and on account of the number of passengers seen on deck it was supplied her. On the 27th, the Oriental was beset in the ice, together with two other vessels, and perceived her some ten miles to the westward. She was in a most perilous position, evidently stove in by the ice, and sinking. Signals of distress were hoisted, without the remotest chance of gaining assistance. For two days she was seen in the same forlorn condition, when she suddenly disappeared, and very little doubt is entertained of every soul having gone down in the foundered vessel. Subsequently, a great many bodies were seen intermingled with the ice, together with some portion of the cargo ; the latter led to the discovery of the port to which the vessel belonged, and her intended destination. The Oriental was eleven days before she got clear of the ice.
Another similar catastrophe was witnessed on the 29th of March, about twenty miles to the westward of St. Paul's, by the ship Signette, M. Mowatt, from Alloa for Quebec. The vessel was apparently an English brig, heavily laden, with painted portholes. She had got fixed in the ice, and had been cut down by it to the water's edge, admitting a rush of water into the hold. Her crew were observed working at the pumps, evidently in the hope of keeping her afloat in the expectation of assistance arriving. She soon, however, sank, and all on board met with a watery grave. The exact number that perished was not learned.
Letters have been received communicating the total loss of the Ostensible, also in the ice. She was from Liverpool, bound to Quebec, with several passengers. Up to the 5th of May she experienced heavy weather, when she fell in with an enormous field of ice, and got fixed in it for five days and nights, in the course of which her hull was pierced by the huge fragments,
and she became a lost vessel. Pumps were kept going till the arrival of the brig Duhe, Captain Welsh, also for Quebec, which, after considerable working, succeeded in making through the ice to the sinking vessel, and rescued the whole of her crew from an inevitable death. The Ostensible went down within twenty minutes after.
Two other vessels from Liverpool - the Conservator and the Acorn--were both lost near the same time. The former was on a passage to Montreal. She got pinched by the ice within three days after losing sight of land, and filling, immediately went down; the crew were lucky enough to save the ship's boats, in which they were picked up. The Acorn met with her destruction within thirty miles of St. John's, Newfoundland; the crew were saved by the schooner Blessing, of Sunderland. Among the other losses in the ice reported, are enumerated the Hibernia, from Glasgow for Quebec; the British schooner Collector, from St. John's, Newfoundland, for London, the brig Astrea, of Weymouth; the Wilhelmina, of Aberdeen; the Gosnell, of Newcastle; the Sylph, of Leith; and three others, the names of. which are unknown. With the exception of the latter, the crews were saved. Most of the unfortunate vessels were heavily laden, and their losses in total cannot be far short of £100,000.--Observer.
WRECK OF THE ORION" STEAMER.--FIFTY LIVES LOST.
The Orion, a regular packet, running between Glasgow and Liverpool, sailed from the latter port on Monday afternoon, June 17th, and was wrecked on the rocks off Portpatrick. This event is thus officially announced :
“ Portpatrick, June 18th. “Sir, It is my painful duty to report the melancholy loss of life which occurred this morning by the wreck of the Orion steam-ship near this place, on her voyage from Liverpool to Glasgow, and having on board upwards of 200 persons, including the crew. The Orion passed close by the Lighthousepier at 1 40 a.m., the weather calm and hazy, and having run with great force on the rocky projection of the coast, about 400 yards north of the harbour, rebounded off, and sank in five fathoms water.
“So fearfully rapid was this awful calamity that scarcely seven minutes appear to have elapsed from the vessel striking until her hull sunk under water, and it is feared that many of the unfortunate sufferers had not time to leave their berths.
“ The circumstances were partly witnessed from the shore, and the alarm being speedily given, the harbour boat, with every available boat in the port, was, with myself, soon at the wreck, and it was our unspeakable happiness to assist in rescuing those persons who still clung to the rigging and upper rails of the hull.
"From information up to this time, I have reason to believe 150 persons have been saved, leaving the fearful number of 50 whose fate is doubisul. I beg to enclose the names of those survivors who have been actually seen, which, with 35 of the crew, amount to 140.
“I feel bound to express my admiration of the activity shown by the boatmen of the port in their exertions to save life, and the manner the inhabitants gave up their beds and clothing to the sufferers as they were landed.
“I have, &c.,
“General Superintendent, Portpatrick Harbour." The particulars will best be understood by our readers from the following narrative of the melancholy catastrophe, so far as it was under his own
personal observation, supplied by Mr. George Thompson, one of the survivors :-" It was about half-past one that I was awoke by hearing and feeling a strange tearing sort of noise as if some strong paper was torn.
It was so gentle that I thought little of it and remained in bed, although all the other passengers in the cabin started at once to their feet and rushed on deck. After a very brief interval one of my neighbours returned, and began with great trepidation to dress. I then apprehended danger and jumped out of bed, and drawing on my trousers went on deck, calling at the ladies' cabin, in passing, to tell my wife that she had better get up and dress, although there might not be any immediate danger.
“On getting to the quarter-deck, I found a large number of the passengers assembled in great alarm. The vessel by this time had settled somewhat by the head, and was lurching over a little to starboard-that is, towards the land. I instantly went below to hasten my wise with her toilet, and put on a little more dress, and sought for a small trunk I had, and brought it to the middle of the cabin.
“My wife and I now went on deck, and as the vessel was dipping deeper and deeper into the water, I calmly told her that I feared there was little hope, but that we would use every effort to save ourselves.
By this time the water was over the bulwarks at the bow, and the ‘heel of the deck was becoming greater and greater. I then feared that all was over, and clasping my wife to my breast, felt resigned to my fate.
“ We then proceeded, at my wife's suggestion, to the stern of the vessel at the larboard side, and as the inclination of the deck became so great as to prevent our standing, I laid hold of one of the belaying pins, and placing my wife between my breast and the bulwark, I there held on.
"A lady at this moment had got hold of my wife's shawl, but as it was not fastened at the throat, it soon dropped off, and the unfortunate creature slid down the deck. On turning round, I found the whole space within the bulwarks, and up to nearly the centre lir of the deck, filled with a struggling multitude in the gurgling and seething waters, and most of these were very soon drowned.
“As soon as the water reached the companion, thc pent air in the cabin forced off the skylights with a most horrid crash, and in an instant after we were under water, sucked down in the vortex of the sinking ship. When below the surface I lost hold of my wife, and striking out found myself above water, and in contact with one of the stays of the mizen-mast, which I laid hold of at once. I had hardly done so, when my wife rose also to the surface, and I at once took her hand, and caused her to hold on by the same rope. I placed my legs round the rope, the better to secure my hold, and told her to rest herself on my knee, which she did.
“As soon as we had so far secured ourselves, the ship gave a heavy lurch to starboard, which immersed us under water; but swinging back she lurched again to port, and again were we under water. Gradually the lurches decreased in extent, and after a few more rolls, the masts continued stationary.
" I had only my head above water, as I was supporting my wife; and I was afraid to elevate myself further, as I knew that in that case the weight would be increased. Above me, on the mast, a sailor was perched, who called out in the most imploring accents to some persons in a boat, to come and take the people of.
" When the vessel ultimately sank, the quarter-deck at the stern was clustered with human beings, like a bee-hive; and of these but few were saved, as the vortex absorbed them, and they were so numerous as to impede each other in their attempts to save themselves.
“On the shrouds of the mizen-mast, near where we were, there were several persons clustered, three women hanging on by one rope. At this time the companion cover floated off, and three persons contrived to keep up by it until they were rescued.
“ After being about half an hour in the water, a shore boat came up, and was about to pick me up, when I told the men to get a lady, who appeared much exhausted, in first; this was done, my wife was taken in next, and, as quickly as possible, all supported by the mast were speedily rescued.
“The boat then went to the mainmast, and took off the captain and another man or two, and then proceeded to the shore, where we were met by a little girl, who said we must come to her mammy's house, as they had a nice fire to warm us, and would make us comfortable.
“ On coming upon deck the second time the captain, who was in his drawers and shirt, said that if they all stuck to the ship there would be no danger. I accordingly went down and told the ladies so, which calmed them for a little, but as the water rose, and the lurch of the vessel increased, the alarm was soon renewed, and the ladies all rushed on deck.
“There appeared to be great difficulty in launching the boats, as the tackles were all entangled, and when launched they were in danger of filling, as the plug holes were all open; and as no corks or plugs could be found, the result was, that although the passengers kept baling the boats with their hats, they were in danger of sinking before the boats reached the shore.
• Into one of the boats some four or five men got, and rowed away, in spite of the cries and entreaties of those on board the sinking ship.
" An immense quantity of luggage was recovered, partly floating and partly thrown ashore. This may be accounted for by the fact that most of it was on deck.
“Four instances came under my own observation where husbands and wives were saved, through their mutual aid, in circumstances of awful peril and almost hopeless danger.
“There were about 20 bodies recovered when we left, including Dr. Burns. Several of these were women, and three of them children. The women had little else on them than their night clothes, and some only their chemises.
“Nothing could exceed the kindness of the villagers to the wants of the survivors ; their houses, their larders, their wardrobes-their all, were freely placed at our disposal. Nor should Dr. Douglas, the medical gentleman of the place, be omitted. He literally ran from one to another, from the hour of the wreck, administering relief to those who required it, with a degree of kindness, skill
, and perseverance, which must ever be remembered with gratitude by all.
“An investigation was at once set on foot by the authorities at Portpatrick, and several of the passengers were precognosced by the procuratorfiscal.
“The night was beautifully clear and calm. There was a slight haze or fog crawling along the land, but the shore was quite visible and distinct; the lighthouse loomed close over the vessel when she struck.
“ The distance between the rock and the shore did not appear above 150 yards, if so much, and would be about the length of the division of Argyllstreet from Queen-street to Buchanan-street.
“The rock on which the Orion struck is well known to all the seamen and fishermen of the place, and is a very short distance from the mouth of the harbour.”
Among the many distressing incidents connected with this awful event, the case of one survivor appears peculiarly distressing :-"A Mr. Splott, on his way to Australia with his wife and three daughters, lost his entire family and £700 in money. He was left at Portpatrick in a most distracted state of mind.” In this case, how emphatic is the sentiment of Young
“ 'Tis the survivor dies !"
REMINISCENCE OF A NAVAL OFFICER.
From the “ Memoir of the Life of Elizabeth Fry." “ It was on a fine sultry day, in the summer of 1821, that I was racing up the river Thames, in the command of the Ramsgate steam packet Eagle, hoping to overtake our Margate competitors, the Victory and Favourite steamers, and bringing them nearer to view as we rounded the points of the reach of the river. It was in the midst of this excitement that we encountered one of those sudden thunder squalls, so common in this country, and which, passing rapidly off with heavy rain, leave behind them a strong and increasing northerly gale. I was looking out a-head, pleasing myseli with the reflection that we were the fastest vessel against a head-wind, and should certainly overtake our Margate friends; when upon entering Long Reach, about two miles below Purfleet, I saw a boat labouring with very little effect against the gale, and with a whole ebb-tide just making to add to their difficulties; in this boat were two ladies, in the close habit of the Society of Friends, evidently drenched with the heavy shower which had overtaken them. I was then a dashing high-spirited sailor; but I had always a secret admiration of the quiet demeanour of that society, and occasionally' had some of them passengers with me, always intelligent and inquiring, and always pleased with any information a seaman could extend to them. Well, here was a dilemma! To stop, would spoil my chace, in which most of my passengers were as eager as myself--but to go on, and pass two ladies in such a situation! I pissed the word softly to the engineer ; desired the mate to sheer alongside the boat carefully; threw the delighted rowers a rope; and before the passengers were fully aware that we had stopped the engines, the ladies were on board, the boat made fast astern, and the Eagle again flying up the Thames. I have those two persons strongly, nay indelibly stamped upon my mind's eye. The one I had last assisted on board, still held my hand, as she thanked me with dignified but beautiful expression: 'It is kind of thee, captain, and we thank thee. We made no sign to thee; having held up our handkerchiefs to the other packets, we did not think we should succeed with thee.' I assured them that I could not have passed them under such circumstances, and called the stewardess to take them below into the ladies' cabin and see to their comfort. They had been well cloakcd, and had not suffered so much as I had anticipated.
“The gale had cleared a way the rain, and in a very short time they came upon deck again, -one of them was Mrs. Fry, and she never lost an opportunity of doing good. I saw her speaking to some of my crew, who were looking very serious as she offered them tracts, and some of them cast a side-glance at me, for my approval or otherwise. I had some little dislike to sects then, which, I ihank God, left me in riper years,
- but who could resist this beautiful, persuasive, and heavenly-minded woman? To see her, was to love her; to hear her, was to feel as if a guardian angel had bid you follow that teaching, which can alone subdue the temptations and evils of this life, and secure a Redeemer's love in eternity! In her you saw all that was attractive in woman, lit up by the bright beams of philanthropy ; devoting the prime of life, and health, and personal graces, to her Divine Master's service. I feel assured, that much of the success which attended her missions of mercy was based upon that awe which such a presence inspired. It was something to possess a countenance which portrayed in every look the overflowings of such a heart, and thus, as an humble instrument in the hands of Divine Providence, she was indeed highly-favoured among women.
“She told me that her companion, Mrs. Pryor, and herself had been down