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A Frightful Scene--Escape Of The Arabia

A Frightful Scene--Escape Of The Arabia image
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Dr. Smith, of tlns city, wntes homo the following graphic account of the narro w escape of the steamship Arabia from suddon and terrible wreek on Fasnet llock, Cape Olear, of which a brief acoount has been givon : "Stsamsiiip Arabia, ) Aug. 3-11 A. M. S "In the midst of iife we are in death. Just half an hour ago, whilö standiug on the bow, the ship running 14 kuots an hour undcr steam and sails, in a thick fog, I heard a shout, 'Land ahead!' I turned towards the captain, or rather had my eye on hini at that moment. His face could not have expressed moro horror if he had seen heli's gates open. He sprung to the entine bell, at the same time shouting, 'Hard a-port your helm.' A counter order of 'Starboard' was given. The captain leaped from hii footing, shouting so that his voice was heard above the escaping steara, 'Hard a-port, in God's name.' Hia order was obeyed. Then turning forward amonpr a hubbub of voiecs shouting, 'We aro lost,' 'God have mercy on us," etc., etc., I saw the rocks not twenty feet frora the sliip'a bows. - On their top was a light-houso. As we swung around it seomed as if we should every moineat feel the shock of striking. "The huge swell of the Atlantic was reverberatiug and the spray flyiug all arouud us. The aails took aback, heeling us over so that the deck atood up like the roof of a house. Women wore screaming, seamen ruuuing to and fro, and above all the captain and lieutenants shouting so as to be heard above the shrill, escaping steam, 'Hard a port, hard, hard!' 'Brace around the foreyard!' 'Let fly the halyards and sheets fore and aftl' I stepped abaft the foremast, to be out of the way of its full, and waitod for the shock. - But ■ There's a swoat little cherub who sits up aloft And looks after the life of poor Jnok.' We approached, as all agree, witliin ten "eet of the rocks, and then began to reede. Just realize that there was only en feet between us and eternity. It is ie opinión of soa-faring men on board ïat the ship, if she had struck, would unk in five minutes, for it is a sharp edgo of rocks, six or sevon miles froai ny shore and deep water all around. 'ho boats could not have been got ready, nd, if thoy oould, thoy could uever have i ved in the heavy surf. No - if she had one ten feet fartlier, we should have een almost instantly precipitated into a agiug sea, where, six or seven miles from and, in a dense fog, few of us could iave escaped. We should have all pershed as miserably as thosc in the Ilunrarian. Thrce seconds more would have olled the death-knell of most if not all f us, for were so euveloped in fog, and 'ar from land, and also no boat at the ight-house, that, if we had seized fragnents of tho wreek, thcy would have een torn from our grasp by the sea, )oilingj?9in a caldron over the sunken eeis, hours betoro our tate coma navo jeeu known. "I knuw there was no tiine to run )elow for life-pruservers, which are lungup by each berth, and so contened uiyeelf with jast strining up my ñervos for a buffet with tho waves. ?or three minutos 1 can assure you man showed what be 8 whon expecting the 'King of Tenors.' Two or three ladies took it heroically, and seemed to draw in strength from the scène around them. It was a terribls moment for the captain - Captain Stono, of the Raya] navy - for as we swung aroucd, the sAils taking aback and heeling us over, overybody expected to feel the griodiug crash beneath our feet. I feit for him, for all his great rahness, and gladly say that, to his decisión in our hour of need, wo owe our lives. The rock is called Fasnet Koek, and npon it is tho Capo Olear light-houso. A subscription is now being taken up amongthe passengers for the seaman who first shouted 'Breakors ahead!" I never shall forget, to my dying day, thn face of the captain when he heard that wild shoiit. I have eaen distress and pain in all their forms, but never a face like that, so full of horror, perfect ttgony, and crushing responsibility. The ry 'lireakers ahead,' the stopping of the entines, ihu escapo of tho steam, and the shifting of tho helm, all occurred in one second. It seemod at the instant as if it was utterly impossible to stop the ship's way in time to save up; bui God rulos. ÍIo put forth his hand, and the vessel, trembling as if with mortal feur, yieldad to her powerfulengines, proceaded from tha rock, and wo were saved."