WRECK OF THE STEAMER
IT is our painful duty to again record one of those terrible catastrophes which from time to time break in upon the community, blanching the cheek, and making the stoutest heart to tremble. Shipwreck at all times is to he regretted, but when attended with loss of life, as on this occasion, is fearful to contem- plate. The Cawarra, one of the finest steamers in the colonies, with a large and valuable cargo, and over fifty souls on board, started on her voyage for Brisbane and Rockhampton on the afternoon of the 11th instant and within twenty-four hours, at one fell swoop, ship cargo, and it is feared, both passengers and crew, have passed away, and that too within sight of hundreds of persons willing but, alas, unable to render the slightest
aid. The first intimation of the disaster was received
by telegram, by the Government, yesterday after- noon, at 3.30 p.m., and was to tho fol- lowing effect, and dated from Newcastle: " that the steamer Cawarra had struck on the Oyster Bank, and broken in two." This was followed by another, announcing that the vessel was breaking up, a number of passengers were seen clinging to the poop, and that the lifeboat was going to their rescue, but it was feared she would not be able to reach them. The third and last message stated that the lifeboat went off but found not a vestige of the wreck. It was supposed she must have gone down almost immedi- ately, and it was feared that all hands were lost.
Unfortunately, telegraphic communication with Newcastle is interrupted, so that no further particu- lars can be obtained at present, and all is conjecture as to the reason for her being near Newcastle at all; a slight accident to the machinery, the heavy gale that blow with fearful violence throughout the night on which she sailed, and many other causes might necessitate her seeking a port of refuge, but it is to be feared the true cause will ever remain a mystery. Cap- tain Chatfield, her commander, was a gentleman of first class reputation as a seaman, and has for many years been intimately connected with steamships, and was specially noted for his great care and attention when at sea, and was highly respected by a numerous circle
of friends. The Cawarra was the property of the A. S. N. Co., and arrived from England about two years ago; she has since been a regular trader be- tween this port and Brisbane.
The following is a list of the passengers:-For Brisbane, steerage-Alexander Brash, John Marsden, George Seaward, Michael McLennan, and 7 Chinese. For Rockhampton : Cabin-Mrs. Cramp and child, Miss Anderson, Mr. A. Anderson, Mr. Machefer. Steerage-Mr. and Mrs. John Paterson, Samuel King,
and 6 Chinese.
The list of crew are :-Captain Henry Chatfield, late of the Boomerang (s.) ; chief officer, Mr. McDowell, who commanded the steamer Florence Irving on her passage from England to Sydney; second officer, Mr. Burrows, leaves a wife and six. children; chief engineer, Mr. Fountain; second engi- neer, Mr. Harkencross ; stewardess, Miss Kate Crozier; fore cabin steward, John Darwen ; Stephen
Goddard, pantryman-, - Murray, fireman; John McDiarmid, cook. The only other names which we were able to ascertain up till a late hour lost evening, were William Hunter and William Williams (better known as Lavender Bill), seamen.
The steward, a Mr. Newlands, was unable to pro- ceed by her on this trip, in consequence of having received an injury to his foot ; the second steward, therefore, assumed the post of chief. We may men- tion here that on the last trip of the Star of Aus- tralia, supposed to have foundered, Mr. Newlands who was a steward on board of her, remained behind, thus twice escaping the fate which has overtaken his shipmates.
The cargo, which in this instance was an unusually large one, in consequence of no boat having left for Rockhampton for some time previous, will be found in our shipping columns.