Sunday, June 3, 2018

The Crew and Ship's Cat Taken Off the Sinking Bark Alma -- June 3, 2018

The drawing is from the 18-November-1897 San Francisco Call. William A Coulter did many maritime drawings for the newspaper. Don't confuse the Norwegian bark Alma with the San Francisco scow schooner Alma, which is preserved at the Hyde Street Pier.  

The Crew and Ship's Cat Taken Off the Sinking Bark Alma.
Pussy Is Now the Mascot of the Big British Ship Royal Forth.

The mascot of the British ship Royal Forth is a cat. It was rescued from a sinking vessel and at once made itself at home in its new quarters. When the crew that was rescued from the vessel at the same time as was the cat was transferred to a homeward-bound steamer the cat refused to go and has ever since been a special favorite with Captain Cooper and his men.

June last the lookout on the Royal Forth saw a vessel apparently in distress away in the distance. Captain Cooper was called and be at once headed for the ship, which proved to be the Norwegian bark Alma.

"She was coal-laden from Cardiff and leaking badly," said Captain Cooper yesterday. "As soon as the men of the bark saw us making for them, they deserted :he pumps and Captain Christiansen could not get them to do another stroke of work. They lowered a boat and deserted in a body leaving the captain alone on the sinking ship. When I found out the state of affairs I sent a boat and took Captain Christiansen off and my men brought the cat with them. Shortly after I got the Royal Forth on her course again the Alma went down bodily.

"Captain Christiansen was almost hysterical over the loss of his vessel. She was all he had in the world and unless fortune has favored him he is now penniless. He parted with his wife in Cardiff and gave her the money with which to insure the vessel and cargo on her return to Norway. Mrs. Christiansen was to spend a week or to in England before going home and the question was, 'Did she get the insurance on before the news or the loss of the vessel reached the agents' ? As the Alma was only ten days out when we picked up her crew I am afraid fortune favored the underwriters. We transferred the men of the Alma to the steamer Berthoum and a few days later they were landed at Rotterdam."

No comments: