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Hearts of Oak
Destruction of the Steamship by Fire with Great Loss of Life
This is a translation of the letter from the Captain of the Barque reported seen in the area of the Amazon.
Constantinople : 28th February 1852
A statement having reached this port to the effect that a barque had been close to the ill-fated steam-ship Amazon without having shown any disposition to afford the sufferers any assistance, I am induced to correct the statement as follows : On our voyage from Newcastle to this port we became aware, about one o'clock on the night of the 4th of January, of a great fire, which we soon made up our minds must arise from a ship in flames. At that time we were sailing on a wind under double-reefed topsails, mainsail and jib, but we immediately put on more sail and worked up to windward, until at three o'clock in the morning we had got so close to the wreck that flakes of fire fell on our deck. We sailed round the vessel, which was then & frightful mass of flame, without being able to discover any trace of boats or human beings, and although a strict look-out was kept with this view, both on deck and from the tops, all our efforts were fruitless. After this we kept by the wreck at & little distance till the day broke, but at seven o'clock a.m. an explosion took place, after which nothing more was to be seen. We therefore pursued our voyage.
This took place in latitude 48° 43 N., longitude 5° 53 W Greenwich.
B. Schlytter. Barque Deodata of Drammen, Norway.
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