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LOSS OF MALOJA
¡BOUND FOR INDIA
147 PEOPLE PERISH.
I VICTIMS MOSTLY LASCAFÍS |
LONDON, Feb. 28.
The P. and 0. Company's R.M.S. Maloja (12,431 tons), with passengers and n valu- able cargo for India, struck a minc between Dover and Folkestone, and sank on Sunday morning.
There were 411 people on board. It is estimated that 264 persons were saved. The majority of the 147 yvho have not been ac- counted for, and are believed to hove perished, were lascars. The native crew numbered 203, and only 86 were saved. Thero were 140 passengers on board, nearly all of whom are safe.
Captain C. E. Irving, R.N.R., commander of the Maloja, and all his officers, as well as the members of the engine-room staff, were saved. The captain was the last to leave the ship. He did not get into a boat, and was swimming for half an hour before he was picked up
Deaths from Exhaustion.
The weather was intensely« cold, and some deaths from exhaustion occurred on board the rescue vessels.
Most of those who were saved were taken off in rafts.
44 Bodies Becovered.
Forty-four bodies have been recovered, and temporary additional mortuaiy accommoda- tion is necessarj' at the point where the hosts land.
Valuable Cargo Lost.
The Maloja carried a valuable cargo, and this, of course, is a total loss.
Bescue Steamer Sunk.
Half on hour after the Maloja struck the steamer Empress of Fort William (2,181 tons), owned by the Canada Steam- ship Lines, while going to the rescue of the Maloja's passengers, also struck n minc, and sank. The Empress of Fort William was on her/way to Dunkirk with a cargo of coal. All on board this vessel were saved.
Captain Irving's Report.
"Crew Behaved Splendidly."
Captain Irving, in his report of the disas- ter, saya:
"The Maloja struck a mine be- tween Dover and Folkestone. Her after-part was blown up. I tried to beach her, but a high sea was running. The engine-room became ? full of water, and the liner sank ' about half an hour after striking
the mine. I believe almost all the ' passengers were saved. All the boats
, had been swung out before the ao
'cident occurred, to be ready in the , event of nn emergency. Both the « white and the coloured members of
the crew behaved splendidlyi"
"like the Boar of a Big Gun."
"The sound of the explosion was like the roar of a big 'gun," said the ship's printer to an interviewer. He added that the falls of one boat jammed. An officer cut the bont free, and it dropped 30ft.
A tug picked up the pilot, wAo left the Maloja off Deal. He says that the boats of the.lincr were swung out in readiness for an-emergency. Many of the passengers pos-
sessed private life-belts.
Explosion Heard on Shore.
A violent explosion was heard at Dover at 11 o'clock in the morning. It attracted crowds to the sea front. They saw the Maloja two miles distant in difficulties. In response to "S.O.S." messages scores of patrol boats and trawlers appeared quickly from all directions, and motor-boats, tugB, and launches from Dover promptly raced to
The Maloja soon began to settle down at the stern, where she was damaged by the explosion, until the seas were almost level witli the bridge. She then took a heavy list to starboard, gradually rolling until the starboard side was submerged, and the decks were perpendicular. Thus she remained for sometime. Suddenly she wallowed right over, and completely capsized, show- ing n section of her keel for some minutes. She disappeared in u cloud of steam.
The Work of Bescue.
In the meantime, all sorts of craft were steadily proceeding with rescue work. The list prevented the launching of boats on the port side, and those on the starboard side jammed. Most of the survivors were taken direct from the sloping decks aboard smaller craft.
The watchers ashore had another thrill- ing experience half an hour later, when the Empress of Fort William sunk half a mile distant. The forepart of that vessel re- mained above the sea for some time, the stern being submerged. Suddenly« the vessel blew up, and disappeared.
Captain Shepherd, of the Empress of Fort William, says:-"We left the Downs in the morning. The Maloja, which yvas astern, soon overhauled and passed us, on account of her superior speed. We saw the Maloja off Dover, apparently held up, awaiting ex- amination. A patrol boat gave her per- mission to pass. We did not hear an ex- plosion, and were amazed to notice the Maloja down hy the stern. We heard a loud blast from a whistle, and immediatclj« proceed at full speed to the rescue. We were still a long way astern when we saw the Maloja's boats Ij-ing against the sides. They could not be lowered owing to the list. The passengers were lined up on deck, re- minding us of the picture of the sinking of the German cruiser Blucher m the North Sea fight."
Captain Shepherd took a snapshot of the scene. Half an hour later he lost his own vessel, and all his possédions, but saved bia entire crew of 20. He expresses the opinion that the vessels which endeavoured to rescue the people on the Maloja kept too far away from the liner. If the collier had pos- sessed the speed he would have run the Empress of Fort William alongside, but Ins vessel was still a mile astern of the Maloja when she also hit a mine. The Empress of Fort William sank 40 minutes later. "I saw many people btnnding on the decks of the Maloja," added Captain Shepherd, "ap- parently they were unable to get into the
One boat which wns in the water drifted underneath another boat and capsized. It is believed that only two of the occupants of the boat escaped.
Stories of Survivors.
The suivivors from the Maloja wert! landed at the Admiralty Pier. Some who were injured were transferred to a hospital
ship. The remainder were lent to London |
by special train.
Passengers, who in the course of inter ^ views, say:-"The Maloja left the Tharne«
on Saturday morning. The explosion blew in tile sides of the second saloon ( and knocked several passengTS, who were on deck, off their feet. It is believed that a number of people were injured. Water flowed m immediately and swamped the in- terior. No panic occurred) though the native crew were terrified, and one lascar had to be knocked on the head with an oar to prevent his entering a boat before lady passengers. The absence of panic was due to the nearness of the land, and to the won- derful promptitude with which scores of rescuers surrounded the Maloja on all sides. The weather was fair, a fairly heavy sea was running, and ii storm was evidently coming up."
A Pitiful Sight.
A pitiful sight was provided at the arri- val of the survivors in a special train at Vic- toria street. Women tearfully clasped their children. One elderly woman had a hand bandaged, and she explained that it had been crushed in a boat. Many of the men were wrapped in blankets, wearing only pyjamas and slippers. A procession of nearly 100 lascars passed along the plat- form, the natives being dejected and silent. They were holding blankets tightly round their bodies. The teeth of some of them were chattering. Their woollen headgear was in every colour. One lascar limped painfully, groaning at every step he took, leaning on the arm of a railway porter. An- other was carried between two railway men. Some of the natives borrowed cigar- ettes from the onlookers, who readily re- sponded to the requests.
No Australians Aboard.
As far as can be ascertained at present, there were no Australians or New Zealand cra on board the Maloja.
Several children were blown to pieces by the explosion.
A child was seen alono on a raft and rescued. The fate of it« mather or whoever it was who fastened on on the raft is not
THREE MORE VESSELS LOST
All Sunk by Mines.
The loss of three moro steamers through striking mines was announced on Sunday
Tlie s.s. Mecklenburg (2,885 tons) has been mined and sunk while on her way from an English port to Flushing. Telegrams
from Amsterdam state that all of the pas- I scngers and crew were rescued. It is believed in London that the mails carried by the vessel were also saved.
The British steamer Dido, 4,769 tonB (owned by T. Wilson. Sons, ana Co. Ltd. nnd registered at Hull), struck a minc at the mouth of the Humber, and was ren- dered helpless. A gale was raging at the time, and the Dido was driven ashore.
Twenty-six lives wera lost in connection with the loss of the third of these steamers
the French vessel Trignac, 2,375 tons. She struck a mine in the North Sea and
[A Photograph of the Maloja will be found on Page 5.]
COMPANY'S LARGEST VESSEL.
Built in 1911 at Messrs Harland and Wolffs yards Belfast Ireland the Ma loja was the newest and largest vessel in the P and O fleet Her gross tonnage was 12 430 and the dimensions were -Length o75ft breadth 02ft 9m and depth 30ft 1 ngines with an indicated horse power of 14 000 propelled the vessel at a rate of "Ï8.
knots an hour The crew numbered 337 and the steamer with a full complement of passengers would carrv over 1000 persons -the population of a small town
lhe richness of the fittings and the num ber of ippliances for the comfort of pas scngeis attracted considerable attention when the vessel first came to Melbourne in Alarch 1912 and whenever she was m port the Maloja was always besieged with visi tors Accommodation was provided on the steamer for 418 fiist saloon and 212 second saloon passengers
1 itted w ith refrigerating machiner} on the carbonic nnhy dndc principle the Ma loja was speciall} qualified to carry fruit space being provided for 40 000 eases In the apple se ison the Maloja wai always requisitioned to take a full cargo away from Hobirt «
The Maloja was a sister ship to the Me dina the vessel which conveved their Ma jestics King George and Queen Mary to the Indian Coronation Dirnbir in 1911
The vessel is named after a small Swiss village in the \lps between Engar din in Switzerland and Como in Italy Though the villnge is in Switzerland the name has a Spanish pronunciation A soft sound is given to the j the name being pronounced Malo ya
onrcERS OF MALOJA
According to Mr L Plummer agent for the Maloja the ofticers on board were - Chief officer Mr C D Forbes R\K second officer W F Pocock third S Dendnno surgeon 1* Kennington nurse, T v\ Bürgin purser F AV Hurgeos chief steward 1 C Chapman chief engineer W H \Ahvte second H Stratton third W C 'Nicholl« fourth F Gringer super numerirv H \sker refrigerator engineers, R I 1 erguson and K W freeman
Ciptain C11 Irving R\R was in ch irge of the \laloj i on her last trip from \u«tralia the regular master (Captain H S Bradshaw) being on leave The Maloja left Melbourne on December *_ last and arrived in London earlv in rebmary