Archiver > GEN-TRIVIA-ENG > 2006-07 > 1152516642

From: "Geo." <>
Subject: From The Cumberland Pacquet, Thursday. January 30, 1902 - Story of the Sea (1)
Date: Mon, 10 Jul 2006 15:30:42 +0800

Posted with permission of the transcriber, Diane Moore.



There has been told this week in the
London Admiralty Court a marvelous
story of the sea and of the heroism of
a second officer. In the month of May
last year, when the British screw steamer
Crown Point was some 200 miles to the
west of Queenstown she fell in with the
German barque Planet, which was on a
voyage from Mazatlan, a Mexican port,
with a cargo of dye-woods. The crew of
the Planet were in truly sorry plight. The
first mate had died of scurvy, the master
and second mate were dying of the same
disease, and the crew of eleven men were
all ill with it. The Crown Point attempted
to take the Planet in tow, but the hawser
snapped, and it was apparently decided
that nothing more could be done. But at
that juncture the second officer of the
Crown Point, Frederick Hedley BRYANT,
stepped forward and volunteered to navi-
gate the Planet to Queenstown. When he
went on board that vessel he found that
she was very badly provisioned. There were
no potatoes. The available provisions seem
to have consisted of a half-barrel of wheat,
one tin of compressed vegetables, and a
quantity of bad flour and biscuits. The
master, who had been unconscious since
the previous day, was in his berth in an
emaciated condition; the second mate was
somewhat similar; and the crew were little

But BRYANT was full of British pluck,
and was not unduly depressed by these
distressing conditions. Not only did he
see to the navigation of the vessel, but
he took time to keep a diary, which was
read in Court, and which proved a doc-
ument of rare interest. Under date May
14, BRYANT had written:

"Crew disheartened. The Captain un-
conscious since Monday, and, in fact, dying.
I could not manage to force any stimulants
into his body...I fed the mate with port wine
through a pipe. Men brought me bad flour,
although the biscuits were bad enough. Man
came to me and told me that the fold was full
of "schmall schnakes mit foots." Found that
he meant scorpions. Glad I had my sea boots
on. The ship's mate had a dog which left
marks of his teeth on my boots. He was mad,
and had been for some days. Again glad I had
my boots on. This is a place where a Mark
TAPLEY would shine."

~to be continued.

[Mark Tapley: Presumably from Dickens' 'Martin Chuzzlewit'.

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