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Risked His Life For A Stranger

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March 16 is tho anuiversary date of the naval disaster in the Samoa hurriciiijo (1SK!). There wero iiiaiiy heroic deeds by officers and seanien to save fcheir sliips. One rescue, accomplished at a daring risk of life and purely voluntary aa well a.s uiisolfish, was made by a Japauese cabin stoward of the United States flagsbip Treutou, narned Hatchitaro. The Vandalia had been driven upon the beach where the hnrricane seas swept 1 5 f eet above her decks. Her captain and several sailors lost their lives in trying to get lines ashore. Finally the Trenton was lifted by a trernendous wavo and hurled broadsido upon the Vandalia's stinken buil. Ropos were thrown trom tho Trenton to tho men iu the rigging of the Vandalia, and luany who had strength to grasp them and hang on, escaped. One of the last to leave tho rigging was Liontenant Wilsou. Yielding the ropes to his raen, he attempted to jump to the Trenton's spars, but in the darkness got entaugled in the ratlines and feil into the water. Hainanaged togeta foothold on the ladder of the mainmastsoas tokeep his head abovo tide, bat was too weak to clirub higher. The lurching huil of the Trenton pounded against the maste of the Vandalia, threatening to carry theru down. Hatchitaro saw the peril of tho lieutenant, who was a stranger to bim and auyway unrecognizable in the darkness. Crawling otit froin the Treuton's deck to a projectiug yard of the Slinken snip, he made bis way to the mainniast and lifted Wilson up to the yard, along that to the rigging, and clung to hirn nntil a line was thrown within reach froni the Trenton. Fastening that, about the half drownedman, he stood by and guided hiui while tho sailors above hauled him on deok. Hatchitaro was then hauled np by his shipmates and was barely clear of the wreek when tho mainniast went down with a crash.


Ann Arbor Argus
Old News