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VOLUME LXXVIII.— NO. 2.
And More Survivors of
the Colima May Be
MANY FLOAT ON RAFTS.
Burial of Fourteen Bodies
Washed Ashore at
CAUSES OF THE DISASTER.
It Is Claimed That the Captain Lost
Hl9 Presence of Mind When
the Cargo Shifted.
MANZANILLO, Mex., June 1 (via City
of Mexico and Laredo). — It is now claimed
that forty-one persons were saved from
the wreck of the Colima. The statement
Js current here that the disaster was due
<o the captain losing his presence of mind
«nd trying to turn ihe overloaded vessel in
the trough of the sea.
It is generally believed that the steam-
Ship San Juan could have saved more of
the unfortunate victims of the wreck if
such haste in departing from the scene of
tne disaster had not been made.
The agents of the Pacific Mail here are
6trenuous in their denials of this state
ment. They declare that the San Juan
cruised about for ten hours near the scene
of the disaster, seeking to rescue any sur
vivors, and that all that humanity could
do was done. They add that the kindest
treatment was accorded the seventeen
who were rescued and who are now on
board the San Juan on their way to San
The steamer Barracouta is still cruising
about in the hope that further survivors
of the wreck may be rescued.
Five persons were rescued at Maquila,
where they still are. The steamer Mazat
r lan was dispatched to bring them to some
A boat from the steamer which started
for the shore was upset, and the crew with
great difficulty reached land. The five
persons rescued at Maquila and the six
men of the steamer Mazatlan's boat
which was upset will be brought here over
land. Carriages have left Manzanillo for
Waquila to bring them.
Afarp' victims of the disaster are known
to have floated out to sea on rafts, boards
and wreckage from the Colima, and it is
thought come of them may yet be rescued.
Fourteen bodies which were washed
ashore at Coatmayana have been buried.
The hour of the wreck was 11 a. m. The
«cene was twenty-four miles from the near
The captains of the schooners which
weathered the storm, and who are now
here, declare that overloading caused the
wreck and that the Colima carried a top
It is generally believed that more sur
vivors of the wreck will be heard from,
aad that the work of rescue will result in
the saving of additional lives.
A number of those who have been saved
Were severely injured by falling timbers
during the wreck. They are being well
cared for here and all of them so injured
MANY THEORIES GIVEN
Veteran Sailors Talk About the
Causes of the Dis
Captain Merry Thinks That the
Colima Had Run Out of Coal and
Was Top Heavy.
In local circles it was another day of
theories as to the causes leading to the
wreck of the Colima. Everywhere about
town the subject was under discussion,
end there is little apparent abatement in
the interest manifested by all classes in
this latest horror of the sea. Many homes
are in mourning as a result of news already
obtained, and from many quarters come
requests for fuller details reiative to the
Nearly every one has a different theory
D. B. Oriffitllv, First Officer.
to advance as to the causes which led to
the sinking of the ill-fated steamer. Even
among those who possess an intimate
knowledge of the Mexican coast, there is
nothing like unanimity of opinion.
"She went down in a hurricane," said
Agent Avery of the Pacific Mail Company
yesterday afternoon. "This is all we know.
We have no more news than is contained
in the newspapers, and are depending
upon the press dispatches for our informa
"Nonßense," says J. F. Chapman, the
veteran shipping commission merchant of
g? California street, who by the way, Bailed
The San Francisco Call.
up and down this coast for years before
Agent Ayery was born. "A hurricane on
the Mexican coast in the month of May !
Who ever heard of such a thing? It is
simply impossible. A man can safely
cover the whole course in a canoe at this
season. The winds come later."
"She was top heavy," says Captain Wil
liam Merry, another veteran who knows
John Lianghorne, Second Officer.
every foot of this coast. "Her coal was
about exhausted. Taylor intended to coal
the ship before reaching Manzanillo. It
would not require much of a gale, you see.
T^e captain probably tried to 'wear' ship,
and failing, went down in the trough of
the sea." •
"An explosion of some kind blew out
her bottom, and the natural result fol
lowed," says Stevedore A. H. Herriman.
"She carried a good deal of powder and in
a manner expressly forbidden by law."
"It is clear to me," says E. H. Winton,
another stevedore, "that she broke some
of her machinery. Not many years ago a
White Star steamer came near going down
from the cause which I have mentioned,
within halt a mile of the place where the
Colima is reported to have been lost. A
hurricane is out of the question at this
season of the year. No one has ever heard
of such a thing."
And thus they speculate as to the prob
able cause of this accident, which was at
tended with such frightful loss of life. All
are agreed upon one thing, that is, that
the steamer did not strike a reef or other
"This theory has been put in the back
ground by the testimony of many whose
knowledge of the coast i? accurate and
trifet worthy. The conclusions, as to the
depth of water where the ship went down
are not so certain. Captain Merry puts
the latitude at 18 deg. north and the longi
tude at 104 deg. west, approximately, and
assigns to this location a depth of about
300 fathoms. Others place the depth all
the way from 130 to 750 fathoms.
"Of one thing we may be sure," contin
ues Captain Merry, "she struck nothing.
There is not a reef for miles below Manza
nillo. There can be no doubt that she was
heavily laden, though I am not proposed
to say that she was overloaded. That she
was out of ballast may be set down as a
"It must have been the case, from what
we know, not from hearsay or even reports
from the seen* of the accident, but from
our knowledge of the amount of coal the
steamer carried. A top-heavy steamer of
the Colima's proportions is a bad craft to
handle in even a light wind. I have never
heard of a heavy hurricane on this coast at
this season of the year; still such a thing
might occur. The rainy season there com
mences about the middle of June, and is
always accompanied by heavy winds. One
thing is quite certain, the Colima did not
SAN FRANCISCO, SUNDAY MORNING, JUNE 2, 1&95-TWENTY-SIX PAGES.
QUEEN ANITA OF THE SANTA CRUZ WATER FETE AND SOME OF HER FAIR
[Drawn from photographs.]
go down as a direct result of a storm. This
might have been a contributing cause, but
when we know the whole story some other
and more feasable reason will be shown."
Richard Lambert, ex-Consul at Mazat
lan and at one time agent of the Pacific
Mail at that port, was seen by a Call rep
resentative yesterday. In answer to an
inquiry about the late disaster Mr. Lam
"I do not see how I can throw any light
upon the subject of this unfortunate calam
ity. In five or six days the San Juan will
arrive containing the passengers picked up
at sea by Captain Pitts. From their state
ments only may we arrive at a solution of
this unusual, and I fear reprehensible,
"The rainy season don't commence down
there until the middle of June, and the
presence of a storm on that coast of Mex
ico at this time seems to me to bear the
impress of exaggeration to say the least.
The period for those short but violent
hurricanes, called Chuoascos, does not
ocour until the latter part of the rainy
"There is always a strong ground swell
of more or less magnitude prevailing all
along the Mexican and Central American
coasts. There are only two harbors on the
coast, Manzanillo and Acapulco; the other
ports are open roadsteads, and this con
tinual land swell renders the discharging
and unloading of cargo while at anchor an
exceedingly difficult task. In the absence
of a violent storm, which, as I said before,
is unprecedented at this season of the
year— and I speak from nearly eight years'
experience — the capsizal of a large, stanch,
deep-water steamship like the Colima at
sea in this season is wholly incomprehen
sible to me.
"It is barely possible that the eruption
of the volcano at Colima and the reported
adjoining seismic disturbances may have
produced local atmospheric conditions
similar to those produced by the methods
employed to create rain artificially. In
that event, however, I hardly think they
would be Bevere enough to capsize the
Colima, which has weathered many a
Ole Hansen, Third Officer.
winter storm much more violent than
could possibly occur in the summertime
on the Pacific Ocean in tropical latitudes.
"One is instinctively constrained to look
elsewhere for the proper solution of this
new nautical enigma. It cannot easily be
found in the vicinity of Manzanillo.
"The great loss of life so far reported
and the heavy insurance involved in this
incident will doubtless stimulate searching
investigation. About $90,000 of insurance
from tbis port, added to ?100,0(X)' by the
Messrs. Echegureu at Masatlan in one item
alone, the other smaller amounts at Maz
atlan, San Bias and Manzanillo, the lives
of about 160 passengers, approximately
speaking, and the vessel itself will take
nearly a million of dollars out of the safe
of the Pacific Mail Company, provided it
can be shown that the primary cause of the
E. D. Beardon, First Assistant Engi
accident lies at Second and Brannan streets,
"The hasty and perfunctory method of
loading these steamships is, and must be,
an inexact problem. Through New York
and European freights must necessarily be
stowed in the lower or second hold accord
ing to class, in order to make room for and
conveniently handle the local freights car
ried to and received at about twenty dif
ferent ports between here and Panama.
Bulky and heavy articles for intermediate
ports are difficult of storage below, but
exceedingly dangerous on the upper deck,
to say nothing of the glaring inconvenience
"When aboard the steamships at Mazat
lan it was always a query in mind why
heavy bulky timbers and other classes of
freight were piled on the upper deck when
a schoolboy calculation of weight would
disclose the fact that the vessel was top
heavy and unsafe to encounter any con
siderable stress of weather.
"Captain Cavarly, the oldest and most
efficient captain in the company and a
gentleman of scholarly attainments, once
positively refused to take some heavy ma
chinery from Mazatlan. The reason he
then gave, if my memory serves me, was
that it would make his vessel topheavy
and he dare not cross the Gulf of Tehuan
"The habit of overloading and unwisely
loading those steamships in order to show
a large increase in net earnings may ope
rate as an effective stimulant on the Wall
street stock board, but the loss of the Oo
lima more than cancels the gains thus
made for a period of years.
"Mr. Avery, the ticket clerk at the p^
cific Mail office, has had large practical ex
perience on the coast as purser. His opin
ions about the passenger probabilities are
the most intelligent and accurate of any
"If the passengers had proper notifica
tion of the pending disaster instead of
being kept in the dark until it was too
late, and were enabled to embark on the
boats and rafts, if they can remain on the
boats or rafts or can find an inlet to enter
and land, we may yet hear better news;
but if they attempt a landing through the
heavy surf, unless they • are very strong
and good swimmers very few can get to
the beach. There is a very powerful vinder
tow to be encountered.
"I still think that many will be found
about Boca Apiza, unless an earlier fate
was met. The boat containing Purser
Wafer and party may yet be heard from.
He was a wise and conservative person."
Captain E. H. Win ton, in expressing him
self more fully relative to the situation,
"I know the Mexican coast better than
I know the street on which I have lived
for ten years. For over twenty years I
sailed up and down the coast, and from
the climatic conditions prevailing there I
am positive that the Colima did not go
down from the effects of a hurricane. You
might as well talk about an equinoctial
gale in the month of April as to assume
that a storm would sweep the Mexican
coast in the month of May. It is much
more probable that the machinery gave
out, and the ship being out of ballast r as
she must have been, having only a little
coal left, became unmanageable.
"If she went down in the latitude and
longitude mentioned in the dispatches,
then she found about 200 fathoms of water.
There are no reefs anywhere along this
part of the coast, as every mariner knows.
If something comes from this disaster that
will compel the Pacific Mail Company to
pay more heed to the law in the matter of
storing their cargoes, then those who went
down to a watery grave will not have died
"It is a notorious fact that their ships are
grossly mismanaged, and that there is an
utter lack of discipline among the crews. I
have never been in the employ of the Pa
ciiic Mail, so what I say is not prompted
by petty motives of spite. A company
that had any regard for the lives of its pas
sengers would not carry powder stored
with general merchandise, and that is ex
actly what the Pacific Mail Company has
been doing for years. I have great regard
for the abilities of Captain Taylor, the
officer in command. He should not be
held responsible for the lax discipline in
"When the matter is cleared up lam
John P. Ebbesen, Chief Engineer.
convinced that the causes will be found
entirely due to the gross negligence of the
"It is difficult to say just what caused
the disaster until the court of inquiry is
heid," said Steuart Menzies. "Particularly
is this true," he proceeded, ''with regard
to the loading of the cargo. I would not
like to say whether the vessel was over
loaded or not, because that no one knows
except those immediately concerned with
the loading of the cargo, though on two
points I am willing to express my opinion
"What are those two points?" was
"The first is that the captain did not
seem to know what to do in the hour of
emergency. His ship was in the trough of
the sea and for some mysterious cause was
unmanageable. He should have put out
his storm anchor and brought his ship's
head up to the wind."
"Will you kindly explain what a storm
Dr. William Thomas Kirby.
anchor is for the benefit of those not
versed in nautical parlance?" Mr. Menzies
"Yes, that's so. I do not suppose the
term would be intelligible to the dwellers
on land. A storm anchor generally con
sists of an old spar with a triangular piece
of sail attached to it with a heavy weight
in turn fastened on to the lower angle of
the sail. The whole thing is then thrown
over the bow, and has the effect of bring
ing the vessel's bow into the wind. Some
times the steering gear or some portion of
the machinery gets out of order, and with
out the storm anchor it is impossible to get
the ship out of the trough of the waves,
and she is at the mercy of the wind and
rocks if there be any near. That is the
first point. It seems hard to criticize the
acts of a dead man who died at his post,
but I am speaking of the accident from a
nautical and practical viewpoint. The
second count against the management of
the ship, as the lawyers say, concerns the
breaking of the seas over her.
"The captain should have put the crew
and the passengers to work if necessary in
tapping the tanks and spilling all the oil
overooard. That would have prevented
the seas from breaking over her. And,
again, if the cargo had become shifted or
was too heavy he should have tumbled as
much as possible of it into the sea."
"Do you think the shifting of the cargo
was due to the overloading or unskilled
loading of the ship?" was asked.
"It might, though, as I said, that is a
hard thing to determine until the court of
inquiry has put the question to the surviv
ing members of the crew. As a rule,
though, in such weather as they have in
those waters at this season of the year the
shifting of a ship's cargo might be thought
to be due to improper loading. I under
stand she carried considerable lumber, and
the shifting of that very likely had much
to do with hampering the movements of
passengers and crew in the hour of extreme
"But after all has been said, are we any
nearer the solution of the causes which led
to the terrible disaster than we were be-
Continued on Fourth JPaae,
PRICE FIVE CEXTS.
SANTA CRUZ'S QUEEN.
Miss Anita Gonzales Will
Rule Over the Water
RESULT OF THE VOTING
She Wins by a Heavy Plurality*
the Contest for the Floral
THOUSANDS OF BALLOTS CAST.
Friends of the Beauties Work
Strenuously for Their
SANTA CRUZ, Cal., June 2. — The
merry war of Santa Cruz beauties is at an
end, and Miss Anita Gonzales has been
chosen to preside over the Venetian water
Though this beautiful Santa Barbara
maid has been in the lead from the begin
ning of the contest, it has not lessened the
interest in the voting, and at no time
until the ballots were counted after the
polls closed at midnight was the success
of any of the rivals assured.
Thousands of white slips were deposited
in«the ballot-box to-day. Yesterday Miss
Gonzales had received but 1200 votes,
whereas to-night she has 5499 to her credit.
This shows the interest displayed during
the closing hours.
I, The counting of all the ballots will not
be concluded before morning.
A grand entertainment was given this
evening by the East Santa Cruz Auxiliary
for the benefit of the carnival at Lodtman'a
The hall was packed, and each number
on the programme was heartily applauded.
After the entertainment refreshments
were served, and the evening's entertain
ment closed with a social dance. The
affair was not only a social but a iinancial
The electrical illuminations, as far as
completed, were tested to-night under
S uperintendent Lilly. The people who
witnessed the spectacle had a faint insight
into the grandeur and magn ificence of
what the carnival will be. At present
about 1750 incandescent lights are in place.
They are strung from tall masts in the
bed of the river to smaller poles on the
bank, and there also is a large circular
belt of lights around each pole. Hun
dreds of lights are yet to be added.
Street Commissioner George Pratchner
has a force of fifteen men at work on the
dam at the mouth of the San Lorenzo
River, besides the seven prisoners from
the County Jail under Deputy Sheriff Cap
latzi. who have filled the thousands of
sacks, mostly the gifts of the school
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