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COLLISION IN THE HARBOUR.

SINKING OF THE STEAMER MERKSWORTH.

BEACHED OFF CREMORNE.

Between I and 2 p m yesterday the steam collier Merksworth, bound from the Wallarah Coal Com     any's mine, laden with coal, was heading up the   harbour making a course for Miller's Point or somewhere about there, where she usually gets orders as to what wharf or ship she is to discharge her cargo at, when she met with a disastrous collision. She had rounded Bradley's Head, and was making an inside course to pass Pinchgut. Following her came the Manly   Beach Company's new steamer Manly, one of the fastest ferry steamers in the harbour, and soon after passing Bradley's these two steamers, presumably under complete control, came so close that the one hit the other what is technically known as a "slid nig blow" That graceful act proved sufficient for   the struck ship to almost immediately sink, and cause an almost miraculous escape of her crew. It would, in the absence of the official reports and the official inquiry which the Marine Board must hold, be improper to spaculate as to which ship was the offender. Iho fact remains that the woll-fouud steam collier theMorksworth re« ceived such nijiirv as endod her career for the tim« being in her pnrttculai sphete of usefulness Ilia accounts given b) gomo of those who w ero aboard thej Morksworth differ in minor details, ti ougli thoy aro unanimous in that they were ahead until the nose of tlio Mnnly was poked into tho midship part of their ship, smashing tho bndgu and some of the upper works It carno ns a surprise, and after realising that they had beoii struck nobody suggested that the blow was serious until tho hisBin|{ caused by the hhubIi of water below into the boiler íoom was heard , and it came in ijuicklv, for beforo

tho Morksworth could reach Kirribilli Point she wai doomed, and tbo host that coula lio done w as donn under the circumstances, namely, head her for the nearest land and jam her head there, thus snviug risking the lives of the men The other steamer, Manlj,was by that timo well np tho hal hour ou her way to the Mttnli wharf ' Thoy hit us on our slarboaid side," said ono of the crow of tho Morksw orth, ' ' and vv o didn't think there w as much in it, but she has a projecting propeller head, and that must have rammed us underneath*" And that is tho accepted theory of tho cause of tho sink« ing of tho Morksw oith

AU weio silent on tho ferry-boat when official íeports vv ero asked for, but the passengers were less disposed to be reticent "Tho thing wes all done in a moment," saul one " lhere was some vvhisthug and tinging out, but the bit was not a loud one, and we reallv thought tho other boat was but little damaged Imagine when, nitor arriving in tho city, wo hoard that tho collior had sunk Wo had no idea of such a. thing As to who w as ni tlio right or tho wrong I should bo sorry lo saj Naturall) wo were a bit tcarcrt, and there was tomo excitement, but nothing vers, sensational " On being seen hy a reporter, tho master of the Manlv declined to make a statement

The steamer Morksworth lies n little to the west- ward of tbo entrance to Mosroau's Bay Her stem ii sticking a lew feet above water on rock Tha stern is in eight fathoms ou a ssudv bottom A foot or so of nor mn'renmast was visible yesterday afternoon, and a httlo more of the foremast, but tlio top of her fuunol was at least loft under water A lot of 1 oats wore out in tho evening to inspect tha placo in which the steamer sank, and, judgiug from the rugged form itiou of that part of tho harbour, the idea forces itself on one's mind that it waa a case of " touch and go," of beaching or sinking in deep

water '

Tlio vv ntor police wero quicklj on tho scene In- spector Hyem, in reply to an niqiury, said " It was luoky there wero no lives lost We brought ashore eight of the crow, tho captain and four othors remained by the wrock The men brought

their baggage, and thoy saved the Merksworth cat, s which seemed to have been a sort of pet on board "

The Manly, the new Btearaor which originally was built for the now Co-operative Company and tha name changed subsequent.) from Emancipator to Miinh, was so little damaged that sho continued her tune-table serv ice throughout the remainder of tho daV At tho compon) 's offico it was stated that tile dainago would he covered by £5

The steim collior Meiksnorth was once a crack steamer on this coast carrying mails and passengors. I ike manv other vv ell-built ships, when shn became a bit old her place vv as taken b) vouugei, larger, and moio imposing stemueis bho was launched at Paisloy, Scotland, 22 ) ears ago, an iron steamor of 270 tons, 10 hurse-powor nominal, and is now owned by the Wallarah Coal Compnuv

The prime policy on tbo Morksworth is hold by the South British Insurance Company, with re«

insurances

Digitisation generously supported by
Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation
Digitisation generously supported by

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