Sunday, March 3, 2019

British Ship King George in Latitude 60 South -- March 3, 2019

San Francisco Call, 10-August-1900
William A Coulter did many maritime drawings for the San Francisco Call

Ships From Afar Bring Tales of Ocean Disaster
King George Icebound -- Melanope's Captain Dies -- Milverton on Beam Ends

FOUR ships arrived from European ports yesterday, and three of them tell hard luck stories. One was driven into the frozen south and had a terrible time getting around the Horn, another was on her beam ends and was compelled to drift toward the south pole in order to get her cargo put back in place, while the third lost the master and owner from Panama fever and dysentery.

The British ship King George was 153 days getting here from Antwerp. She was driven so far south that the blocks froze and the running gear could not be worked. All the ship carried were the topsails, and these froze stiff. There was not a breath of wind, and at one time it looked to Captain Burnett as if the ship would drift clean to the south pole.

In his report Captain Burnett says that at times it was necessary to heat the frozen ropes in order to make them run through the blocks. On May 21, when the sun came out, the ship looked like a model done In ice. On June 2 a terrific gale carried away several of the vessel's sails. Other gales that the vessel met did more damage, and altogether she had a frightful experience.


The British ship Melanope arrived from Panama. 78 days out, yesterday. The reinsurance gamblers had a few dollars on her at S per cent. When the Melanope left the isthmus the captain and owner, John K. Craigen, was a very sick man. He had the Panama fever, and nothing could be done for him when dysentery set in. He died on June 13 and was buried at sea.

Captain Craigen was only 39 years old and a native of Aberdeen, Scotland. Before leaving home on this voyage he was married and left his wife and mother behind him. About the time Captain Craigen was dying in the tropics a cable reached San Francisco informing the agents of the vessel that his mother was dead and to so inform Captain Craigen on his arrival. Yesterday as the Melanope was passing In through the Heads a cable came to the agents Informing them that the captain's wife had died the day before.

Chief Officer Charles Green brought the Melanope into port.


The British ship Milverton had a lively time of it off the Horn. She was thirty days getting from 50 in the Atlantic to 50 in the Pacific, and not only lost a suit of sails but was on her beam ends and at the mercy of the elements. Luckily she drifted south into a calm, and then the crew was able to get her on an even keel again. The Milverton was 153 days from Antwerp, and taking all the circumstances into consideration It was a fair trip.

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