Loss of the NONANTUM

Loss of the NONANTUM

LIVERPOOL JOURNAL 1st January 1881


Details of the loss of the British Bargue NONANTUM on the coast of Newfoundland and the terrible suffering of her crew, 15 of whom perished from drowning or being frozen, have been received by the American mail.

The NONANTUM a vessel of 1041 tons was until recently owned by Mr Brookes P. BILFROUGH of London, but at the time of her loss, the property of Messers STEWART Brothers of St Johnís N. B.

She sailed from Miramichi on the 19th November last bound for Gibraltar for orders, having a cargo of timber, manned by a crew of 17, the Master Capt T. J. JOHNSON.

Heavy storms were met from the outset, on the 21st the deck load was thrown over board to ease the ship.

The Officer on deck saw land which was supposed to be Cape Ray and Cape Anquille, it was resolved to get the boats out and leave the ship. Three boats were lowered, one was swamped alongside, 11 men got into one boat, 6 in the other, they pulled for land.

After an hour the life boat was upset, all its occupants managed to cling to it, eventually righting it, but all the oars and provisions were lost.

The men suffering from exposure and cold, after 20hrs they eventually reached the coast, when the other boat was seen to founder with all on board.

On getting on land one man died from exhaustion and cold and was buried on the shore. The others, 10 in number climbed the cliffs and travelled for 6 days on the desolate Newfoundland coast, without food or fire and with insufficient clothing, One after another men dropped in the snow and were left there.

The Captain the First Officer George KADGER of Plymouth England and a Newfoundlander named DOOLEY, were left of the 10. The Captain then had to be left behind his feet frost bitten. DOOLEY was suffering badly from frost bite, having no shoes, his feet wrapped in canvas, he managed to keep up with KADGER till evening when both lay down with little hope of rescue.

Two young men from St George Bay had heard of the wreck and came to take a look, they saw the foot prints in the snow and decided to follow them, finding DOOLEY and KADGER, they were taken to the nearest settlement.

A search party was organised, only Capt JOHNSON was found alive, he was taken to the settlement but died a few hours later.

At the latest account both DOOLEY and KADGER are reported to be alive but in a dangerous condition.

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