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Date: 09 August 1910.



The salvage of the Austrian Lloyd steamer Trieste by the Lowther Range stands out as one of the most heroic deeds which can placed to the credit of British seamen. The outlines of the story have been given in telegraphic reports, but its details are such that they will be keenly appreciated by all who believe that the British sailor is unrivalled for his resource, his skill, and his courage. It was on July 16, when some 400 miles from Aden, that the Trieste snapped her propeller shaft, and it was not until the 23rd that the Lowther Range was sighted. Distress signals were sent up, and the reply of the Lowther Range was, “Wait till morning to take on towing." When morning came the Lowther Range made her first attempt to get communication.

To appreciate the position one must imagine the Trieste towering above her consort yawing to an inconceivable extent, while seas were running mountains high. The Lowther 'Range, an ordinary small typical collier steamer from Sunderland, with the best of conditions, would labour in such a sea. As it was, being forced to manoeuvre, green seas washed right through her without breaking, and the men had to run up the rigging to escape being run overboard.

At seven o'clock the Lowther Range lowered a liftboat with a view of passing a line; but the boat was at once stove in. Communication was effected by attaching a line to a barrel and floating it out, while the Lowther Range steamed round, but on the first occasion the line fouled the propeller and broke. The second attempt was more fortunate, but within a quarter of an hour after towing had been started the wire cable snapped.

Another attempt was made to effect communication, but in vain, and on Saturday the sea was too rough for it to be possible to do anything. On Sunday a rope was passed, but owing to a misunderstanding on the Trieste, enough cable was not given, and the rope once again snapped. Still, the collier stood by. A second start was made at two o'clock. There was a gale blowing, and a heavy sea running. A line was picked up from the Trieste, and an attempt was made to haul the towing hawser aboard. In this endeavour the winch broke down. The chief engineer, with a broken rib, was below attending to his engines, and the second attending to the winches. A heavy sea came aboard, and washed him off his feet, his skull being fractured against the side of the ship. A succeeding wave carried him out to sea, and the waves were reddened with his blood. Nothing could be done to save him.

On Monday other attempts were made, and on Tuesday a line was passed and snapped. On Wednesday the attempt succeeded, and the Trieste in two days was towed 300 miles to a safe anchorage outside Bombay. As the harbour was almost in sight, however, it was decided to shorten the towing-line, and this again broke.

Only a few facts more need be mentioned. The Lowther Range pluckily continued her efforts to resume towing, but failed. Of her crew of twenty-six, one had been killed and nine men more or less seriously injured. The Port Trust tug, the Rose, which came out to the assistance of the Lowther Range, had all her towing gear carried away owing to the violence of the weather, and the difficulty of towing so heavy a vessel as the Trieste, and eventually the P. & O. tug Dewan brought the liner successfully to port.

Source: "BRAVE BRITISH SEAMEN. THE SALVAGE OF THE AUSTRIAN STEAMER TRIESTE." Londonderry Sentinel. 09 August. 1910. 6.

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