Northern Argus Friday March 14, 1873
This article is titled: DREADFUL SUFFERINGS AT SEA.
News was recently received by the American mall of the safety of another of the boats of the steamship Missouri, which "was burned at sea. Mr. John Freaney, the assistant-engineer, says:—"The ship stopped frequently during the trip, owing to the foaming of the boilers. The fire originated around the boilers. We at once began to play the hose from the donkey-engine, but soon found it was unavailing, and the captain ordered the boats to be lowered. All except myself and eight others, owing to the rolling of the ship on the heavy sea, let go, and were washed into the sea.
Nine clung to the boat until some person on board the ship cut the davits, and the boat which filled with water went free of the ship. We saw a boat bottom upward, with two men clinging to the keel. Threw them a line, and talked awhile with them. Wanted them to come and join us, but they considered their position better than ours and refused. One of our men joined the two, and one of the two swam over to us, being one of the saved. We met Mr. Culmer's boat and asked him to admit us, we being in a sinking condition; but Culmer refused, saying that he had enough on board. We told him his boat could hold more.
Culmer threw us a bucket, and we tried ineffectually to bale our boat, Culmer steered towards Abaco. We had four oars. At night we all pulled back towards the steamer, hoping the fire might prove a beacon, and that some passing vessel might pick us up. We came within about half a mile of the Missouri. About seven in the evening the steamer disappeared suddenly. We then put our boat before the wind. On the second and third days we were still before the wind, and suffering terribly. On the latter day, we saw a vessel come within a mile of us. We shouted and hoisted our clothing, but were unable to attract attention, and the vessel hoisted sail and steered away. On the fourth day one of our crew died, and that night two others having become crazy jumped overboard. The boat was always full of water, and ourselves sitting waist-deep.
On the fifth morning, another man died. We were still before the wind. That evening was calm, and we succeeded in baling the boats with two hats, a crazy man having thrown the bucket overboard. From three life preservers we made a small sail, spread it and steered south, but our exhaustion was so great we could do little. On the sixth and seventh days, our situation was unchanged. On the eighth day we sighted land and succeeded in landing at Powell's Cay, in the evening. We had eaten and drunk nothing since leaving the ship, and lay down on the beach in a horrible condition. After a time of rest on shore we gathered strength to reach some deserted houses and found a spring of fresh water. We lay huddled together all night.
On the ninth day, we found a few tomatoes, which we boiled, having found matches and a pot in one of the houses. This produced a little strength, and we launched a boat and tried to reach the mainland, but failing we returned to Powell's Cay, sleeping there. The next morning we made a final effort to reach the mainland but were so exhausted that we were hardly able to stand, and then lay down near the boat in a dying condition. Shortly afterward we saw a small sloop cruising near the island. We hoisted some clothes on the oars and lay down on the beach. A son of William Curry was on board the sloop and saw the signal immediately. Curry came to our rescue and landed us on Green Turtle Key, where we remained seven days. Four days afterward we reached Nassau." awhile with them.