LIVERPOOL JOURNAL 1st January 1881
The Board of Trade inquiry was held on Thursday in St Georgeís Hall by Mr T. S. RAFFLES, Stipendiery Magistrate, assisted by Captís CASTLE and HARLAND, Nautical assessors into the abandonment of the British ship IMPERO of Halifax, N.B, on or about the 8th, November last. Mr PAXTON conducted the inquiry on behalf of the Board of Trade.
IMPERO was built at Nova Scotia in 1872, rigged as a barque, tonnage 712, the owner Mr Robert LEWIS, Sconomy, Rochester, Nova Scotia and others.
With a cargo of Indian corn in bulk at Philadelphia she left on the 22nd Oct for Limerick, with 1,125 tons, in good condition, a freeboard of 5ft 3ins and a crew of 11 hands.
On the 23rd, 30 tons of cargo was shifted from the forehatch to the afterhatch to trim the vessel.
Up to the 2nd the ship only needed pumping every watch, on the same date a gale sprang up from the east at 2am the next day the mate noticed the vessel had begun to list, which increased. At 8am a heavy sea carried away the wheel and binnacle, smashed the cabin and filled it with water. The gale smashed everything moveable on deck and washed them overboard. On the morning of the 5th, the ship was going over starboard and was making water.
The pumps were used but one became choked and useless. The gale moderated on the 7th, the vessel again was run, attempt were made to move the cargo from starboard to port, it was discovered the shifting boards between decks were broken down from the stanchions. The remaining pump was kept going till it became choked on the 8th. Finding there was 9/10 ft of water in the vessel it was determined to abandon her.
On the 9th they cast off the boats and on the 17th, were picked up by the KARNAK and landed at Rotterdam on the 17th Dec. Then made their way to this country.
The court found the master had done everything he could in the circumstances, the abandonment of the vessel was justified.
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