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TERRIFYING ORDEAL ON THE MAHENO

Ship Tossed Like a Toy for 24 Hours JAPANESE 'CANVAS TOWN' ON FRASER ISLAND

('From Our Snecial ReDresentative.')

FEASEE ISLAND. Thursday.

The eight members of the crew of the Maheno are camped on the sandy . beach at Fraser Island near the stranded vessel, but their living conditions have been made more comfortable as tents have been urovided for them.

To-day they had the satisfaction of seeing their towing ship, the Oonah, for the first time for several days, and there was a chorus of 'Oonah' in wildly excited voices as the steamer came into sight from the northward, Smoke belched from her funnels as she rolled in the troughs of the rough seas.

AS the Oonah came inshore the captain of the Maheno, who was on the beach, f ocussed a tele scope on her, a sailor waved the Japanese flag, and two members of the crew rushed out to the Maheno, which can be reached on foot when the tide is low, and clam-' bered with the agility of monkeys. From the bridge they signalled to the Oonah, whose crew crowded the rails, peering shorewards at the stranded vessel and their com rades, who had been through such an adventurous time. The faces of the men on the beach presented an interesting study. The crew chattered excitedly in Japanese, discussing the prospects of being taken aboard the Oonah— or being left longer on their sandy beach. After two hours In the storm-tossed waters the Oonah Bteamed south -eastwards to Wide Bay to take shelter in smoother water until the tug can come from its shelter In Wprvev Rav t.n-morrow

Officialdom made its first contact ?with the stranded sailors this morn ing, when the Harbourmaster of Mary borough and Constable Codd reached the scene. About 21 hours had then elapsed since the Maheno was found by The Courier-Mail search aeroplane. Additional supplies of food were taken to the Japanese, who, however, seemed to be well provided from the ship's stores. Terrifying Ordeal The Japanese, when questioned about (heir experiences, replied, 'No speak English,' but it was ascertained in fragments that they had had a ter rifying ordeal. Prom the time the towline parted on Monday afternoon until the Maheno was driven ashore they had been at the mercy of a violent gale with mountainous seas tossing the powerless ship as a play toy. They went through many sleep less hours, a nerve-shattering experi ence. The sailors were reticent, but one could not suppress his enthusiasm when it was explained to him that the Jour nalist interviewing him was in the aeroplane which had found them and had informed the shipping. : A smile of delight broadened ' his face, as he grasped the meaning, of it. 'You I' he shouted. 'You!' 'And he made a pantomimic gesture, of soaring aeroplane, while his lips

THE MAHENO'S CREW found a lighter side to their plight yesterday. (Inset): Captain .Tanaka surveys his stranded shin. (Other nictures on pace 16.)

THE MAHENO'S CREW found a lighter side to their plight yesterday. (Inset): Captain .Tanaka surveys his stranded shin. (Other nictures on pace 16.)

pursed to mimic the roaring engines of the machine. He was voluble for a time, and then lapsed into deep meditation. Smooth Beaching The handsome young captain has oven likened to the well-known film star, Ronald Colman. He denied, how ever, that the Maheno hit the shore hard when it was driven before the gale on Tue'sday afternoon. 'No, no,' he said, 'it was soft like this'— clap ping his hands with a smooth, caress ing movement. The camp of the Japanese is now in a clearing of casuarina oaks on the slope of the hill, within sight of the deserted ship, inside the tent there is a variety of articles, including mat tresses and bed-clothing. Clothes lines have been suspended between the trees, and bedding has been hung out to dry. On branches of the trees shoes and socks of varied hues are drying. With characteristic stoicism the Japanese are making the best ,of their unfortunate Plight. Although at the moment they do not know when they are to be taken off, they ari making tfoeir enforced stay ' as pleasant as possible. Many Types They represent, in their quaint clothes, a, varied collection. The cap tain is young, with handsome features, a small moustache, and rakish cap. The others arc of many ages, rang ing from a smiling-faced, lean jowelled man of about 70 summers, to comparative boys with unruly ,mops T jet. black hair. Their clothes are as varied as their physical features. The captain's khaki uniform contrasts with, the fehorts,

some of which' are like plus lours, worn by some of the sailors. One has a startling taste in cloth Ing for his nether limbs. He wears nothing but underpants. Most of them wear the abbreviated white tur bans so popular with pirates of an other age. The younger men find consolation in studying the pictures of Japanese Garbos and Gables in magazines that are the equivalent of our motion pic ture publications. They smoke profusely — 'Rat brand' cigarettes, made In Shanghai. For lunch to-day they had boiled rice— for every course — eaten with chop sticks, to the astonishment of the visi tors. Sand -bank Forming A bank of sand is rapidly forming around the starboard side of the Maheno. Shipping authorities consider it will be difficult to salvage the vessel, but there is hope that it may be possible to release her on an ex ceptionally high tide next week. The captain bdeame so interested In a group photograph being taken by The Courier-Mail that he asked for copies of the photograph to be sent to Japan. He wrote the address on a menu card from the supply used when the Maheno was on the Tasman service. Constable Codd is preventing un authorised persons boarding the Maheno. The captain Is understood to have abandoned the ship in true nautical style by sounding the whistle and the bell twice. The predicament of the Japanese raises the question of immigration laws, and it has been sug gested that it may be necessary to take the men from Fraser Island to Maryborough or Brisbane before they are shipped back to Japan.

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