Dreadful storm and loss of life
On Sunday evening this town and neighbourhood were visited with a severe gale from the north west, which continued with little intermission till Monday morning. Great apprehensions were in consequence entertained for the safety of vessels in the river and channel, and we lament to state that, in one or two instances they were but too well founded. On Sunday afternoon, the ship DUCHESS of CLARENCE, Capt EVANS arrived, with a cargo of tea, consigned to Messers John BIBBY and Co, from Canton, which port she left on 16th June, after a prosperous voyage. Lieut WALKER, of the revenue cutter VIXEN, immediately went to examine her papers, and after approaching pretty near her he embarked with four men in a small boat and boarded the DUCHESS of CLARENCE. The papers having been examined, Mr WALKER and his crew, together with Capt EVANS, who, after his long separation, was extremely anxious to see his wife and family, quitted the ship in the same boat, and we regret to say not one of them reached the shore alive. The storm was raging with the greatest violence, when they quitted the ship, and it is supposed that the boat, which had been found full of water, was upset, and Capt EVENS and his companions have perished. A passenger who came in the DUCHESS of CLARENCE, from Canton, preferred remaining on board all night to trusting himself to a small boat in such a tempestuous sea. He came on shore on Monday, and gave the first information of the fate of Capt EVANS and Mr WALKER, and the four men who accompanied them. This melancholy event has produced a deep feeling of regret, especially for Capt EVANS who has perished within sight of his home, after his long voyage and absence, and whose death might no have occurred had not his eagerness to see his dearest connections induced him to run the fatal risk. Mr WALKER was an active and intelligent officer, and very generally respected. Since the time he was placed at his station he has been instrumental in saving at least a dozen people from drowning in the river. The bodies of Captain EVANS and Lieut WALKER have since been washed on shore. On Monday morning at 3, the MARTHA from Quebec struck on the North Bank and was abandoned by her crew who escaped in their boats and arrived safe in port. The MARTHA capsized and was discovered bottom upwards.
Liverpool Mercury, Dec 19th 1834
The late fatal accident on the Mersey We have been requested to state that the officer who was lost, with his boat's crew and Captain EVANS of the DUCHESS of CLARENCE, under the melancholy circumstances reported in our last, Mr John WALKER, tide-surveyor and commander of the VIXEN, revenue cutter, not Lieut WALKER. R.N, Inspector of the river.
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