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WRECK OF THE BRIG FAYAWAY, ON
TrtE following official report of thc inquiry into the loss ofthls vessel on Breaksea Spit, on the 9th February, wos courteou.ly furnished to us by Jlr. Thornton, the Cullector of Customs. Tho Invea gati'inwas conducted at Mnryborough, before Mr. .H. B.'Sherrldan, tho Sub-Collector of Customs nt thnt port i?
'"¦¦'', Colin' Chadwick states on oath: I was ebie'' 'ollleer of the brig Fayaway, ol which ve.se1 -Charles Croft was muster; on the 1st February
1864, we left Maryborough, with a cargo of tim-1 bor, bound for Sydney ; -Mr. Henry Croaker, the i pilot, left us in Hervey's Bay, on tho . th February, 9 1864 j on tho 8th we proceeded to sen, steering a J course from the Fairway buoy to Breaksea Spit, ' whioh course we continued until tho morning of . the Otb, whon wo sighted Lady Elliot's Island, bearing S.S.W., distant about eight miles;
the wind was then N.E., mid the vessel i under single-reefed topsail and courses ; nt noon ol' same day tacked, on mi east-south-east course until ten o'clock nt tilight, whon thero was n cry of " breakers ahead, and all hands were called to tack; I was then below, it being tho captain's watch on deck; nil hands rushed on deck; the captain was at the lend, and said four fathoms; the vessel was then put about, and In about fivo minutes niter, finding the water shoaling rapidly, again tacked ; there wero then breakers all round tho vessel j in a few minutes she struok heavily, and tho Bea broke over the deck; thc wind wns then blowing strong from the north-east, and the sea running very high; sounded the pumps, but found no water in tbe hold; then clewed up all sails, and stopped on board until morning, thc vessol bumping severely all tho time; nt 8 o'clock on the morning of 10th. finding four feet wnter in the bold, and no chance of getting tho vessel off, prepared to loavo in tho boats; .wo were then about three miles north of Sandy Cnpe, and right in tho niiddlo of the spit; the captain (Charles Croft), the steward John Groom, and two seamen named Daniel Powers and William Cranker, went into tho jollv boat, and myself, William Biglnnd, George Francis, John White, and Andrew Yonng gotintothe long boat taking with us a few clothes and some provisions, and started with the inten- tion of reaching Maryborough ; tho wind was then from the north-east and very squally; about two (2) o'clock in the afternoon made tho outer Bunks in Hervey's Bay, tho Captain's boat being in ad- vance, and we somo fifty or sixty yards behind ; I saw tho leading bunt enter some breakers on the Banks ahead, and immediately upset and turn bot- tom upwards; 1 Immediately put my bout about, lowered tho sall, and with difficulty succeeded in pulling clear of tho breakers; the lust time I saw the captain, and the men who were with him, alive, was when his boat upset; my opinion of tho cause of the wreck ls, that the vessel mado moro lee way than was expected, ami such wns very much increased by tbestrong tide thon setting into Hervey's Buy j I hold no certificate of competency, but hnvo been twelve years nt sen; I nttrbute no binnie to anyone, and do not know If the vessel
John White stnte3 on oath : I nm nu nblo sea- man ; I was serving as such on board the brig Fuynway, ol" which vessel Charles Croft was mas- ter; I have been in the brig three months nntl twenty-two days; I was In ber when she loaded with timber in Maryborough; tho vessel was piloted to tho Fairway Buoy, Hervey's Bay, by Mr. Croaker j after bc left, tho brig stood to sea; Lady Elliott's Island wus sighted on the 9th of this month; it then bore S.S.W. of the vossel; the captain ordered the vessel to be put nbout, aud she was steered an S.S.E. course during the day; I was keeping a look-out from eight to ten o'clock at night; the captain was ou deck ; the weather was thick, and a strong breeze blowing from the N.E.; at about ten o'clook at night the weather suddenly cleared, and tho captain sung out, " land on tho leo bow;" all hands were called to 'bout ship; sho was put about, and the water being found to shoal, another order wns given by the captain to tack; booh after this the vessel struck and bumped heavily ; the sails were then clewed up, and the vessel lay bumping- ou tlie reef nil night. At about eight o'clock on the morning of the 10th finding thnt thero was io chance ot' getting tho vessel oft', and that she was making wnter fust the vessol was abandoned, the Captain, John Groom, David Powers, and William Crooke., went into tlie jolly-boat, and the Chief Ollleer, William Bigland, George Francis, Andrew Young, and myself, started in tile long-boat for Maryborough at ubout two o'clock in the after- noon ; the two boats wore close on tho outer banks in Hervey's Buy?the captain's bout wns littlo way ahead ; I saw her enter ii lino of breakers and get upset; I saw the boat bottom up among the breakers; I think?I am sure?the captain nnd those with him must hnvo been immediately lost; the boat In whioh I was hud much difficulty in pulling buck from the breakers; no assistance without risking tho lives of all bands could be rendered to the captain or those with him ; I do not attribute nny blame to anyone; I do not know whether the vessel wa. insured or not; I have bee 14 years at sea.
William Crook or states, on oath: I wos on board thc brig Fuwawny when she loaded with timber in Maryborough ; 1 was serving us an ablo seaman ; I joined the vossel in Melbourne, and bad been In her three months and twenty-two days: Charles Croft was tho muster's linnie; the vessel wus piloted by Mr. Henry Crocker from Maryborough to tho Fairway Buoy, Hervey's Bay; the pilot left on tho 7th of February, ISO.; on the 8th wo stood on our voyage, bound for Sydney ; nothing par- ticular happened till the morning of the 9th, when ut about nine o'clock tho brig was put about; I bearii there was nn Island in sight nt tho time ; the wind wns then north-east; tho same course wus kept nil day, that is, the vessel nus not put about agtiin till night; 1 wns ut tho wheel from eight o'clock at night until tlie vessel struck, which wns about ten minutes to teu o'clock; the captain was on deck at the time, and lie suddenly snug out " land on the lee bow," and Ordered the helm to be put hard down ; the vessel wns put about, and in a few minutes finding the water shoaling, wo again tucked; im- mediately after this the vessel struck on a reef, and bumped heavily ; the tide was ebhingfast, anil at low wator she lay quite still; all hands remained In the vessel until next morning, when sail was put on to try to hack hor ott', but finding she would not move, und fearing the musts might fall, and prevent our escape by breaking the bouts, all builds left the vessel; beforo leaving tho pumps wore sounded; I saw Daniel Powers sound the pump., and am sure Hint he found but elghteon inches water in tho hold ; nt nbout seven o'clook on tho morning of the loth abandoned tbe vessol; Captain Ci oft, John Groom, Daniel Powers, nnd myself, got into the jolly boat, and the cliicf-ulllcor mid four men got into the liing bout, and wo all storied for Mnryborougli; the captain hilda com- pass and chart with him; about four o'clock in tho afternoon made the outer bunks in Hervey's Buy, tho long-boat was then u short way astern ol' us ; tho wind was blowing very fresh from about N.E., and the sea breaking fearfully on tho bunks ahoud of us; the sea nml wind were too high to ullow us to haul tho bout on a wind, so we wore obliged lo run beforo it, and right in on thu breakers ? tho moment the bout entered the breakers she filled with water, nnd turned over und over j myself nnd the other mon were washed out of the bout by tho surf; we nil got hold of the boat sovoral times, aud were nguiu and nguiu washed oil'; tho first man I saw sink was John Groom ; ho wus tho first I missed ; soon after I heard the captain say, " Oh, my God;" lie was then holding on to an our; I was then washed off the boat myself, mid when I got to her again I could not see the captain anywhere; ubout fivo minutes after this Powers and myself were washed olf tho boat nguiu; I regained ber, btit he did not, mut 1 shiv him sink; soon niter this thc boat drifted inside the breakers, mid 1 righted her, mid got in ; lt was then nearly dark ; I stuck by tho boat all night, mid next morning found myself about ten miles oil' thc maui laud in Hervey's Buy; I drifted backwards and forwards all tiny und next night, mid nt nbout eight o'clock on tho morning of the 13th I was drifted on shore to tho northward of Point Dayman ; I wandered nbout on shore until about four o'olock in the afternoon, when I fell in with somo blacks, one of whom con- ducted mo to Jlr. Walker'- camp, near tho mouth of tho River Alary; 1 wns then four days ami three nights without nny food ; I don't blum, any ono ; I think tho cause of the disaster to the vessel was, that not sullicient allowance was made for the strong current setting into thc Bay: tho captain told mo in the boat that he thought he was seven miles seaward of the spit when tho vessel struok ; to tho best of my knowledge tho vessel struck on Break Scu Spit, about two miles north ol' Sandy Capo; I um u Frenchman by birth ; 1 nm n native of Huvro do Grace; my real naino is Guilliam Coqullle, but went by tho name of William Croaker, on account of the difficulty of pronounc-
ing my name. |
CtUlLI.USI H COQUILLE