The Haswell (s collier), Chase, which put back to the river on Sunday after being in contact with the Bruiser (s s) (as reported in last evening's Shipping and Mercantile Gazette), received considerable damage to her bows. The plates on her port bow were stove in below her waterline, and her fore-peak compartment filled with water. She is now repairing her damages in the Victoria Dock. The Bruiser steamer went down four miles north of Sizewell Bank. A quantity of passengers' luggage, ladies' bonnets and caps, and children's apparel, have been picked up by luggers. One body has been washed ashore on the coast, a fine boy, about 14 years of age. It has been recognised as the son of the Rev. Mr. Bird, residing near Yarmouth. His brother, who was also on board, was saved. He was picked up nearly dead by the boat of the schooner Perseverance. Of the passengers actually known to have perished by the wreck, the names of only three have at present been ascertained, namely - Mrs. Dewhurst, Thomas Knock, an engine driver from New Holland, near Grimsby (fore-cabin passengers), and young Master Bird. Eleven passengers are known to be lost. Among these were a female (a fore-cabin passenger), who at the time was asleep in the starboard lifeboat. This was stove almost in two, and the unfortunate creature was shockingly crushed, so much so that she could not be extricated, and went down with the ship. Underneath the boat were two boys asleep, and these shared the same fate. A coloured man and a German male (passengers), also got crushed in the wreck, and were subsequently drowned. The two firemen killed in their berths were George Atkins and Thomas Mills. They were evidently crushed to death while asleep, their berths being on starboard side of the ship. Another of the crew, named Robert Bland, was lost; he got entangled in the wreck and could not be extricated. They were all married, and have left families. The stewardess, Mrs. Hyde, was injured in the back, and was nearly the last to be dragged out of the steamer as she went down. The number of hands on deck of the Haswell steamer at the time of the collision were four. It was the second mate's watch, William Slaughter. He was on the bridge, and appears to have seen the Bruiser's light nearly 20 minutes before the accident. The Haswell had all sail set except the foresail; and he speaks positively as to her port and starboard regulation lamps being alight. Captain Chase, who turned in at 11 45 P.M. on Saturday, the Haswell then being above the Sunk Light, states before he left the deck he went forward expressly to see to the lights, and found them all right. His chief mate, Edward Johnson, relieved him at that time. His chief mate, Edward Johnson, relieved him at that time. Johnson's watch was till 2 o'clock, when the second mate took charge, and Johnson confirms the master that the lights were all right. Captain Chase was first acquainted of the danger by the concussion. On getting on deck he saw what had happened, and his first thought, after getting the Bruiser's people on board, was the safety of his vessel, for her bows were stove, her peak was filling with water, and the Bruiser was sinking rapidly, when he got on the bridge, and ordered the engines to go astern in order to get out of the wreck. She backed out immediately, the Bruiser at the same time going down. Captain Chase states that soon after Captain Harty, of the Bruiser, drew his attention to the port light, it was very dim, and could not be seen. Capt. Chase said it was not burning so clear as it had been, which he attributed to its being disturbed by the force of the collision. Capt. Chase went to the starboard light and found that this was burning brightly, and to which fact he drew Captain Harty's attention at the time. On the other hand, Mr. Scott, the second mate of the Bruiser, who had charge, alleges that only the masthead light was visible all throughout, which is confirmed by his look-out men. It is but right to mention that the passengers speak in high terms to the conduct of both crews in their exertions to save life.
Transcribed by Lars Bruzelius
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Copyright © 1997 Lars Bruzelius.