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Wreck Report for 'Bussorah', 1885

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Unique ID:14891
Description:Board of Trade Wreck Report for 'Bussorah', 1885
Creator:Board of Trade
Date:1885
Copyright:Out of copyright
Partner:SCC Libraries
Partner ID:Unknown

Transcription

(No. 2759.)

"BUSSORAH."

The Merchant Shipping Acts, 1854 to 1876.

IN the matter of a formal Investigation held at the Board Room of the Sunderland Union Offices, John Street, in the Borough of Sunderland, on the 23rd day of December 1885, before FRANCIS RITSON and GEORGE CLIFTON PECKET, Esquires, two of Her Majesty's Justices of the Peace acting in and for the said Borough, assisted by Captains BEASLEY and ANDERSON, Nautical Assessors, into the circumstances attending the stranding of the British sailing ship "BUSSORAH," of Sunderland, near Calais, on the 14th of November 1885.

Report of Court.

The Court, having carefully inquired into the circumstances attending the above-mentioned shipping casualty, finds, for the reasons stated in the annex hereto, that the stranding was caused by mistaking the lights on the French coast, and not putting the ship about in sufficient time. The Court finds James Martin, the master, in default for such stranding, but in consideration of his previous good conduct and long service without any casualty does not deal with his certificate, but reprimand him and caution him as to his future conduct.

Dated this 23rd day of December 1885.

 

(Signed)

FRANCIS RITSON,

GEORGE C. PECKET,

Judges

We concur in the above report.

 

(Signed)

THS. BEASLEY,

ABSM. ANDERSON,

Assessors.

Annex to the Report.

The barque "Bussorah" was a British built vessel, built at Sunderland in the year 1867. This vessel was built of wood, her official number being 58,100, and she was of the registered tonnage of 394 tons; the dimensions, as per register, were, length 122 feet 7-tenths, main breadth 28 feet 9-tenths, and depth of hold 17 feet 6.5-tenths. The port of registry was Sunderland; John Adamson, of 12, John Street, Sunderland, was the managing owner. James Martin, the master, holds a certificate of competency as master, numbered 26,638, granted to him by the Board of Trade on the 5th of March 188l.

This vessel sailed from the Tyne on the 12th of November 1885, laden with a cargo of about 686 tons of coal, bound to Bahia, her draught of water being sixteen feet eleven inches forward and seventeen feet five inches aft. The crew consisted of eleven hands all told. The compass by which the vessel was steered had been correct on former voyages. The vessel rounded the Newarp Lightvessel at 7 p.m. on the 13th of November, passing about half a mile outside of it; it was then about low water. The wind was from the westward, and moderate weather. All plain sail was set, except the fore topgallant sail. At 9 p.m. the course, steered close by the wind, was south by west until five o'clock on the morning of the following day, when, the wind having veered more northerly, the course steered was S.S.W. At noon the course steered was south-west by south until 5 p.m., when the course steered was south-west, the wind having veered more northerly. The weather was thick, and no object was seen. A cast of the lead was taken and soundings found twenty-two fathoms, with stony ground. The lead was used about every half hour, with soundings varying from 20 to 15, 13, and 11 fathoms, until 11 p.m. An imperfect observation was taken of the sun at noon, making the latitude 51" 36' north. At 9 p.m. the wind veered to north north-east, and the course was fixed and steered west south-west until 11 p.m. At 10 p.m. a number of lights were in sight, when one light in sight was observed to shew four flashes; its bearing was south-west by west. A cast of the lead was taken in eleven fathoms. A few minutes afterwards, when another light, a fixed red light, was sighted, bearing about west by north, the ship hauled up to the west and all hands called to tack ship. The helm was put down, but she came to the ground, dragging with her after end, and refused to come round. The bower anchor was let go to prevent the vessel drifting further in towards the land. All sails were taken in, the vessel striking the ground but not making water, torches were burning all night as signals of distress. About 2.30 a.m. the chain cable parted, the other bower anchor was then let go, but the wind veering, with heavy squalls, and the sea making, about 3 a.m. the ship commenced to make water. Sounded the pumps, and found three feet six inches of water in the well. The lifeboat was then got out, and the crew got into her, and lying under the lee of the ship, but they were obliged to return to the vessel again, it being dangerous to life to remain in the boat. The pumps were sounded again about 4 a.m., and there was then four feet of water in the well. About 6 a.m. the Calais lifeboat came alongside and took the crew off. The vessel was then in a very dangerous position, the sea breaking clean over her. The crew were landed safely about six miles east of Calais.

No lives were lost.

About 10 o'clock on the night of the 14th the ship passed through a fleet of lights, supposed to be fishing vessels, two of which were at first taken to be the North Foreland and North Sandhead lights, but at 11 p.m. this was discovered to have been a mistake.

At the conclusion of the evidence Mr. de Hamel, on behalf of the Board of Trade, desired the opinion of the Court on the following questions:—

1. What was the cause of the stranding of the "Bussorah" off Calais on the 14th November?

Ans. Mistaking the lights on the French coast.

2. Whether safe and proper courses were set and steered after passing the Newarp Lightship? and

Whether due and proper allowance was made for tide and leeway?

Ans. Yes, but they had not been made good. Sufficient allowance had not been made.

3. Whether every possible measure was thereafter taken to ascertain and verify the position of the vessel?

Ans. Yes until the lights were sighted.

4. Whether when the light which proved to be Calais light was sighted proper measures were taken to verify the assumed position of the vessel, and whether measures were thereafter taken with sufficient promptitude to put the vessel about?

Ans. Soundings were taken and measures were adopted to put the ship about with promptitude but when too late.

5. Whether the lead was used with sufficient frequency and due regard given to the soundings obtained?

Ans. Yes.

6. Whether the vessel was navigated with proper and seamanlike care?

Ans. Yes until the lights were sighted.

 

(Signed)

FRANCIS RITSON,

GEORGE C. PECKET,

Judges

We concur.

 

(Signed)

THS. BEASLEY,

ABSM. ANDERSON,

Assessors.

L 367. 2537. 180.—12/85. Wt. 408. E. & S.

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