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The return to Cooktown o. the steamer Warrego about midnight on Sunday, and the arrival from Thursday Island of the Go- vernment steamer White. Star, which was also sent to the relief of the distressed sea- men, enable us this morning to give some detailed account of the disaster which has overtaken the pearling fleet. Mr. Bennett, the Sub-collector of Customs at Thursday   Island, who has come down in the White Star, estimates the loss of life at over 300 men (though some place: it. much higher), and it Is probable that his figures will be fully borne out when the details of the calamity are made known. . Unfortunately there was considerable delay on the Cook- town telegraph line yesterday, and mes- sages which should have come through in a few minutes occupied something like twelve hours. More complete details will be awaited with anxiety ; but it is painfully evident that the first accounts of the de- struction wrought by the gale will be fully borne out. A large portion of the fleet seems unhappily to have been in the direct path of the storm, and to have suffered ac- cordingly. Four schooners and about forty five diving-boats, besides a number of swim-

ming diving-boats-that is, boats without   diving apparatus - have been lost. It is some consolation to know that apparently everything possible is being done to rescue and relieve the survivors, and already a number of them are being conveyed back to Thursday Island.

(By Telegraph from our Special Corre*


COOKTOWN, March 13.

In connection with the late hurricane the steamer Warrego reports that the schooners Sagitta, Silvery Wave, and Admiral were totally lost, also the Meg Merrilees. The Tarwara was ashore, but was refloated. The Crest of the Wave was dismasted. The Olive and the Aladdin stood the gale, and are safe. It Is estimated that the loss of life is 400. The whites drowned are : E. J. Jefferson (of Hull), J. Nicholas, A. H. Out- rldge, R. B. Murray, H. Outridge, and E. Atthow. The Olive's glass, during the storm, recorded 29.601n. to 29.10in.

The hurricane came at first from south- east by east, changed during the storm from east, north, south-west, then to the west, and, finally, died away In the north-east.

Mr. N. G. Vidgen, of the Olive, is searching the beach from the Flinders to Barron Point. He reports that the natives are   burying the dead at Bathurst Bay, and that there is a forest of sunken luggers' masts.

Mrs. Porter has gone to Thursday Island by the Duke of Portland.

Tho Silvery Wave went down at 5 o'clock on Sunday morning. One Malay stayed aboard, and came ashore on a plank. All tho Sagitta's boats were lost. Thirteen por- poises were found 15ft. up the cliff at Flind- ers. The storm was raging on Saturday night and Sunday morning, extending from tho Howick group to the Channel Rock lightship. '* '

(By Telegraph from Our Correspondent.)

COOKTOWN, March 13.  

The steamer Warrego returned here shortly after midnight last night.

All the Islands have been searched from

here as far as the Flinders Group. The White Star and the Victory have assisted all the disabled vessels to safety. The   blacks on the mainland buried the white men. All the bodies found were mutilated by the sharks and the weather. About 300 col- oured men and twenty whites are missing. The total loss of life is not certain until the ships' articles are overhauled. The number of boats wrecked is six schooners, sixty odd luggers, and twenty diving-boats, all of which are supposed to have been wrecked in the vicinity of Bathurst Bay. The natives have shown the places where some of the schooners have gone down. The coast   tribes are acting humanely. Not all the tribes will go near the bodies. The White Star on the trip down kept a sharp lookout, and the Victory searched the reefs and Is- lands. There was no wreckage between here and Flinders Bay. The Victory has   gone searching all the islands to the east

The White Star Is going north-east of the Barrier. All those alive have been rescued. The Channel Rock Lightship Is supposed to have sunk at her mooring, and four men have perished.

The following telegram has bsen rcc.Ii ed

by the Under Secretary and Superintendent ' of Telegraphs from the officer in charge at Cooktown :-" The Warrego returned from the scene of the wrecks this morning (18th'. Authentic.reports state that fourteen men and about ? 400 coloured men wet 3 drowned. Eighty luggers and six schooners were wrecked. The damage Is estimated al from £40,000 to £50,000. The lo'lowl-g white men were drowned :-A. and II. Out

ridge, R. B. Murray, and another man off tU»~ -chooner Sagitta, E. J. Jefferson, J. Nicholas E. Atthow off Silvery Wave. Captain Powell   and two white men went down in the schoon- er North Wales. The Channel Island light- ship and four men were lost at Douglas Spit A coloured man reached the afore with two women after swimming for -four day.. Tho 'beach is strewn with dead fish, snakes, and 'birds.".

The master of the lightship was named Fuhrman, the mate Douglas Lee. and tho assistant's H. Karr and John Anderson.

The Messrs. Outrldge who are reported in the. telegram to have been drowned, are Mr. Alfred Outrldge and his nephew 'Harold (son of the head tc-ohei* at the' Nundah State Sehd-1), brother anil nefhew of Mr. Outridge, of Brisbane. Th * uníórtunat-''.gentlemen., with a younj; man named R. B. Murray, son of Captain   Murray, were on, the schoonei Sagitta at tho time of the hurricane.

The following message has been receive at at the Port Office from the harbour-master at Cooktown, who accompanied the Warrego -"Returned Flinders'Group midnight. .No further use for Warreg.; Met Wlhte St?(r at Flinders, She probably calls here Wilina Star and Victory there (at Flinders)."

'Amongst the names of whites mentioned as being lost are none of those who formed the crew of the Claremont lightship, KO that there is hope that. they have been saved. '

The local managers of the A.U.S N. Com- pany have .received a telegram fiom the agent at Townsville as follows:-" The Wai rego, which arrived at 1 o'clock this morn- ing, reports having searched the islands and reefs, and found that .eighty-seven boals. five schooners, and the lightship, with about '400 lives, were lost during the late hurri- cane. The Warrego found thirl)-six bout* aud three schooners anchoied safely \lu Flinders Bay. Despatching Wairego to Townsvlle at 9.30.":

Mr. Jefferson, who <s reported lujhe tele- gram! as having been drowned, was lae managing partner cf the silvery Wave fleet.



No, definite, "news, has yet been receivel here of the late hurricane, except from the Crest of the Wave, which was dismasted. Mrs. Porter, the wife of the captain of the Crest of the Wave, who was brought here hy tho,: steamer Duke of Portland relates that   the 'schooners Sagitta and Silvery Wave

were anchored near- the Crest.1 Afttr the storm burst on them the position, of the Sagitta was dangerous to the Silvery Wave, as !the anchors were dragging. Guns weie fired : by the vessels at interval« to wa^a,






each other of their positions, but Mrs. Porter < fancied the Sagitta slipped her cable and got away. Both the Silvery .Ware - and the Sagitta had disap- peared during the night, as well as the lightship. No news has reached here since. The vessels working In the vicinity, between Claremont and Cape Melville, were the Olive with sixteen luggers, the Sagitta with ten, Crest of the Wave with fourteen, Silvery Wave] with fifteen, Aladdin with fif-

teen, and the Admiral, a tender there, which belongs to what is usually called the Clark Combination. Besides these there were the Tarawa, belonging to the Queensland Pearl Fishing Company, with about eighteen lug- gers and a tender, the Wal Weir, and Meg Merrilees, belonging to Bowden and Doyle, and fourteen'luggers, i The figures are only approximate, but are somewhere near the mark. Over 100 luggers altogether must have been working in the vicinity, besides «eve_ ' larger craft and two tenders, information

is expected'here first from Cooktown. The Tokio Maru is due here to-day from the ßouth, and she may bring some news. With the exception of one squall on Monday last, which lasted half-an-hour, tiothlng out of the ordinal y has been experienced here. The -greatest anxiety prevails here, so little being known of the effects ot the hurricane, and as to the safety of the schooners and



The steamer Tokio Maru, which was due from tbe Southi to-day, has not yet arrived, and no information as to her movements is to band. The arrival of the vessel is anxiously awaited, in order to obtain news of the damage done to the pearling fleets during the recent hurricane. The reports received have created much consternation here, as the friends and relations of the men who were working in the pearling boats .re unable to ascertain their fate. The loss of so, much life and property affects Thure "day island to an enormous extent, and it wiirtake a long time to recover.

Some concern 1B felt as to the where- abouts of the lugger North Wales, belong- ing to Messrs, Aplin, Brown, and Co., which spoke the .Crest of the Wave a day or two before the storm. It l8 thought probable that the' body and debris passed by the steamer Kasuga Maru belonged to the North Wales, which was bound for Townsville. No Sews of her arrival there is yet to hand.




The following telegram from the Harbour- master at Cooktown was »received at about & o'clock yesterday afternoon by the Port master, Captain Almond. The message ap- pears to have been delayed in transmission as it Was despatched at 10 o'clock yesterday morning. It runs as follows :-" Con- sidered, after' conferring -with Mr.' Ben- nett, officer on hoard the White Star, that Warrego could accomplish no good by going any further north than Flinders Island. Instructed Captain of Warrego to return to Cooktown, wber. we arrived midnight.

White Star left Flinders Island for Cape' elville ct 7 a.m. Sunday. It was arranged to go from there towards reef north-east from Pipon Island, and search north. This has not been done, because passed her at 6.30 Sunday evening, between Murdoch and Lookout Point, steaming south. Useless searching south of Barrow Joint. At 12.40 Saturday sighted steamer Victory, and bade her stay. Signalled ' Come alongside,* and, after receiving report of Pilot Coles, in- structed her captain to proceed south along cpast as far as Barrow Point, searching beach. If any bodies found to bury them, and if white to obtain full particulars for identification, and give flour to blacks for .'burying dead. Then io return it time permitted to Channel Rock, and anchor lor the night, next morning to proceed to C Reef, off Flinders Point, and examine lugger, ashore on side of reef. Also, to proceed to Ktng Island, looking for Wreckage, lind afterwards proceed to Cooktown. Captain Porter, of the Crest of the Wave, reports saw lightship at 11 p.m. on Saturday at her anchorage. Barometer fell then to 2riu. Consensus of opinion is that lightship foundered at her moorings. Water toa dirty to send diver down. If not there, then foundered at Bathurst Bay ; but of opinion sank at moorings, and all hands drowned. Captains of pearling fleet say never experienced euch weather, and believe .160 to 400 coloured men drowned, best les the following white men :-Captain Jeffer- son, of the Silvery Wave ; Captain Murray, of the Sagitta ; A. J. Outridge, H. Out ridge, and one man name unknown ; Cap- tain Powell, of the schooner North Wales, and two men ; captain of the Channel Rock lightship ; also, M. Atthow and I. Nicholas, Silvery Wave. The following vessels are reported lost :-Schooners-North Wales, Sagitta, Silvery Wave, Admiral, Walwera, Meg Merrilees, forty-five luggers belonging to the fleet, fifteen belonging to various owners, about twenty swimming boats, and the Channel Rock lightship. Have burled fully sixty bodies, <but only one white man, Mr. H. Outridge. Suggest further search of beach north _f Barrow Point for bodies

for burial."

A further message has informed Captain Almond of the arrival of the White Star at Cooktown, and an urgent message was at once sent asking that any information her people possessed might be at once wired to Brisbane. «


Mr. O. H. Bennett, sub-collector of Cus- toms at Thursday Island, who accompanied the Government steamer White Star on the relief expedition, wired to Captain Almond last night as follows :-" Left Thursday island at 2 p.m. on the 8th instant In the White Star. Searched from Cape Sidmouth southward to Cooktown. Schooners Meg


Merrilees; 'Welwera, luggers Xarlfa, Two Brothers; ^Rosa Martha, Pegasus, G i vanna, Peeress, . Sprig, - Jennie, Yamuta Tatal wrecked. - - Nine lives lost in G1 van na, Peeress,-and Sprig. Crews of all others saved, . . Schooner Tarawa was on Pelican Island,.hut got off strained, -Several other luggers ashore Pelican, Burkitt, and Hannah -Islands,, but .they will get off. Crews sate, and want of assistance. All foregoing at naru) end Princess Charlotte Bay. Carno from Pelican to Port Stanley, Flinders Group, .this morning. Found schooners Olive and' Aladdin safe and uninjured. Schooner Crest of Wave dismasted and with bulwarks gone towed in by Victory. Ascer- tained that schooner Sagitta and eight lug- gers1, schooner Silvery Wave and thirteen luggers, "besides fifteen luggers of Crest of ' the Wave-fleet, and,the tender schooner Ad- miral -all totally lost with about 230 men, 'including Jefferson, master of Silvery Wave ;

(Murray-, master of Sagitta > two Outrldges, 'and, John Nicholas,, clerk. Several small

ewlinming-diving boats lost, with parts of crew, but many of crews escaped. Am send- ing about thirty of them on to Thursday Island-in three chartered luggers, having supplied .them with provisions. Leave here to-morrow tp search for castaways on banks and reef to eastward and north along the Barrier. . Will return here for any others who want to go on to Thursday Island. May have .to .go. to .Cooktown for cool. After that will communicate further. Estimate total loss of. Ufe at over-300, under 350. Loss ot vessels,.four schooners and about forty-five diving. boats. Cannot estimate loss of swimming-diving boats and crews, nor will be able to do so for some time. At present know of about twelve. Am sending this by Warrego to Cooktown."