The 'City of Cashmere' Wrecked at Timaru

Monday January 16 1882  North Otago Times
Timaru Jan. 15.
The ship City of Cashmere has be come all but a total wreck here. Yesterday afternoon the pin of the shackle of her anchor came out and before the second anchor was let go she had drifted a mile into the breakers.  There was not much sea running at first, and the steam launch Lillie Denham went to her rescue, having on board Captain Ross, of the City of Cashmere, who was ashore at the time the pin came out.  The Harbourmaster (Capt. Mills) had previously got on board, and every effort was made to save the vessel, but it being low tide she got further and further in. She struck the beach about five miles from Timaru about midnight, the rocket brigade succeeding in getting the crew and officers, numbering nineteen, also the harbourmaster and another gentleman to shore safely in less than an hour. Capt. Ross was the last man to leave the ship, the Harbourmaster (Capt. Mills) seeing all on shore before he would leave Captain Ross.  The wreck is the result solely of the pin of the shackle coming out, and is no way due to the port.  The City of Cashmere was a strongly built iron vessel of 980 tons, owned in Glasgow, said to be over eighteen years old.  She has a quantity of wool, wheat, and flour on board. It is well insured.

Monday January 16 1882  The Star
The ship City of Cashmere which came here recently to load wool and grain for London is now on the beach, just opposite the Washdyke Lagoon, and three miles north of the Timaru breakwater. There was a heavy south-easterly swell in the roadstead on Saturday afternoon but nothing to interfere with any well found vessel. Captain Ross went ashore at four o'clock, The ship was seen drifting northward, and it was discovered that her moorings had parted. Some delay took place in letting go a second anchor, and the ship drifted into Caroline Bay. On pulling in the cable it was found that the cause of the ship breaking away was that one of the shackle pins in her cable had dropped out. Captain Ross was sent for, and he immediately went on board, and the Harbour-master also went on board in a whale-boat, thus showing the sea was not rough. The steam launch Lillie Denham, the only steamer in the roadstead, was then pressed into service, and she got up steam and proceeded to the vessel, which was gradually drifting towards the shore. The steamer took the vessel in tow, and though managed to move her 100 feet, she was not powerful enough to do any good, and the anchor was not tripped. She held on to the vessel, which was then flying the distress signal, but had to let go after dark. The ship then burned distress lights, and the gun at the lighthouse was fired. when the Rocket Brigade turned out and processed along the beach with their life-saving apparatus.  She burned lights till shortly after eleven o'clock, when the vessel went on shore. 

The sea beat heavily on the beach this afternoon, and rolled the vessel so much that it shock the masts out of her. She is now lying almost high and dry on the beach. The crew managed managed to get all their clothes and other property out of the vessel this afternoon. 

She is insured almost entirely in the New Zealand Office. She had 486 bales of wool, 276 sacks of flour, and 2749 sacks of wheat on board. The whole cargo, expecting 1600 sacks of wheat, was shipped by Messrs. Miles, Archer and Co., and is fully insured in the Union Office. The 1600 sacks of wheat belonged to Mr J.L. Morris, of Pleasant Point, and this portion of the cargo is insured in the South British for 1500. Being the first direct wool ship of the season from Timaru. The scene of the wreck was visited by thousands of people today.
    Later. Her masts went over yesterday afternoon except the lower mizzen mast, and that followed during the night. She had a hole made in her bottom by a boulder during the afternoon.

Jan. 18 North Otago Times
Timaru Jan. 17.  
A court of enquiry into the stranding of the City of Cashmere will be held on Friday. It has had to be postponed through the non-arrival of the new Resident Magistrate. The cargo of the vessel is being discharged. The wool is very little damaged.

Saturday Jan. 18 1882 North Otago Times
Timaru Jan. 20.
Mr Joseph Beswick presided at the R.N. Court for the first time today.  The inquiry into the wreck of the City of Cashmere is adjourned till tomorrow.  Her hull, wreckage, and stores are to be sold at suction on Monday. The crew and others are busy getting out the cargo.  Surfboats are out to pick up the anchor lost by the ship when she first got adrift.

Monday Jan. 23 1882 North Otago Times
Timaru Jan. 21.
The magisterial inquiry into the wreck of the City of Cashmere is proceeding today. The chief mate (Malcolm) had no idea how the ship got adrift. The ship took in a boat load of wool on the afternoon of the accident, and the latter's surf line was found to be taut. The second mate was going to bend a piece on, but had to buoy and cut it. He found then that the ship was adrift, and another anchor was cast. Malcolm thinks if he had put down two anchors he could have hold where they were till a good steamer arrived. The captain believed the launch Lillie Denham could tow the ship out, as she was said to be very powerful for her size, and when tried she brought the ship over her anchor, but her engines were out of order, and she could not keep up steam. The anchor was weighed, and the ship towed a little way. The steam ran down, and the anchor was cast till she got up steam again. This occurred a second time, and then the master of the ship gave in. There is a discrepancy in the evidence as to when the ship fist struck. The captain says it was before the steamer started t tow. the mate sys it was not till she was anchored, after the first attempt to tow. The carpenter says the cables had not been specially overhauled since June last at Calcutta but had been glanced over....

Otago Witness, Saturday January 21 1882 pg14...

Timaru Shipwrecks
South Canterbury NZGenWeb Project

New Zealand Bound