9["The Accident to the Steamship Cuzco", The Sydney Morning Herald, Saturday 15 June 1878, page 5]


By Telegraph.

(From our Special Correspondent.)

Portland, Friday Evening.

Considerable excitement was caused, this afternoon, by the appearance of an immense steamer coming into the bay under canvas. It was ascertained to be the Cuzco, and, from Captain Murdoch, we learn the following particulars:--After leaving Plymouth, on 20th April, the Cuzco had a capital passage, steaming at the rate of 13 knots an hour, or about 340 miles a day. On 23th May, when in longitude 104 degrees east, and latitude 42 degrees south, or about 600 miles south-west of Cape Leuwin[sic], the main shaft broke, and since then the Cuzco has been under canvas for a distance of 1600 miles. Since May 28th, Captain Murdoch states that he has passed the most trying and harassing period of his life, having had hardly 24 hours sleep since the occurrence of the accident. He states that he has encountered no less than six gales, some of them very severe, but one he witnessed on Saturday, June 8th, he states to be the worst ever met with by him during a twenty-seven years' experience at sea. Although under close-reefed topsails at the time, the sails were blown clean out of the bolt-ropes, and fears were entertained of a serious accident. At this time the Cuzco was about fifty miles off Cape Northumberland. During Saturday, the three-masted schooner Ralph M. Hayward, from Boston, was spoken, and instructed to report the accident to the Cuzco to her agents, Messrs. Bright, Brothers--the Cuzco, in the meantime, making her way to Portland. The first known of the Cuzco's disaster was her appearance in the bay, although fears for her safety were entertained. The passengers, 600 in number, speak in the highest terms of the skill and courage displayed by Captain Murdoch, to whose unwearing attention and bravery they ascribe the safety of the vessel and her immense number of passengers. Captain Murdoch also speaks in very warm terms of the admirable manner in which the passengers behaved under the trying circumstances of the voyage. On the vessel's arrival Captain Murdoch landed and telegraphed to his agents for instructions. The Health Officer, Dr. Brewer, boarded the vessel, and reported everything as being correct. A large number of the passengers will land tomorrow morning, and will proceed by rail to Melbourne. The arrival of the Cuzco is a strongly significant fact in favour of making Portland a place of call for mail steamers, and affords a practical proof of the ease with which the proposal of the Borough Council could be carried out. Singularly enough one of the passengers by the Cuzco, is Mr. Bates, godfather to Mr. Thomas Pearce, of the Loch Ard disaster. Mr. Bates last saw Pearce in Glasgow some months ago, and his delight at hearing of his godson's almost miraculous escape may well be imagined. It is stated that a tug steamer will be sent to Portland to take charge of the Cuzco to Melbourne for repair. The Cuzco tried to make Adelaide but failed.