|Sailing ship Lalla Rookh|
Photo Qld Library
FATAL CATASTROPHY [sic]
It is our painful duty to record a most distressing accident which happened on Wednesday afternoon last in our harbour, by which the lives of two young men were sacrificed.
It will be recollected that on that afternoon the wind was at times blowing in heavy squalls, during which the jolly-boat of the barque Lalla Rookh broke away from her fastening. The mate, Mr James Fenton, with Charles Gadsden, the 3rd mate and two hands, got into her pinnace to go after and secure her and had hoisted the mainsail when a squall came on and capsized her and she immediately sunk. Captain Balliston of the Ennerdale who saw the accident from the deck of his vessel, immediately manned his boat, and endeavoured to pick up the immersed crew - but being of a considerable distance from the place of the accident, only succeeded in saving two, Messrs Fenton and Gadsden both meeting a watery grave.
Mr Fenton had only joined the Lalla Rookh at the Cape of Good Hope but his gentlemanly manners and very considerable general talents had already commanded the esteem and respect of the vessel and his numerous passengers. Mr Charles Gadsden, although he had not completed his apprenticeship, had been during the passage advanced to the position of 3rd mate and was a young man well connected and affording much promise of success in his profession. We regret to learn that the bodies were not recovered. The two men who narrowly escaped this sad fate were in the first instance taken on board the Ennerdale where they met with every attention from its kind-hearted commander and are now recovered.
Source: The Daily Southern Cross (Auckland) 5 May 1849 p4