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The New York Times, January 8, 1900, Monday

Brought to Port from the Sinking Rossmore by the Rotterdam.

Their Steamer Had Broken Its Rudder and Was Filling - Taken Off with Difficulty.

Forty-three shipwrecked men were brought in from the sea yesterday, the first victims of the recent storm to reach this port.
They were taken off the Johnson Line steamer Rossmore, bound from Liverpool for Baltimore, by the oil tank steam-er Rotterdam in midocean. The rescuing-vessel was bound for this port from Rotterdam, when, at 4:30 o'clock on the morning of Feb. 6, she made out a vessel showing signals of distress.
The gale was howling then and the seas were leaping over the decks of the tanker. It was not a pleasing prospect - that of having possibly to lower boats in such weather, but Capt. Voege shifted his course and bore down. It was too dark to make out the stranger's identity then, but the Rotterdam stood by to await daylight, and at about 6 o'clock the vessel's name was made out.
She was flylng a signal, which read: " We are in distress and want assistance."
The Rotterdam asked what assistance was wanted, and the Rossmore replied: "'Will you tow me?. "As the tanker had only 350 tons of coal aboard and the nearest port was Halifax, 800 miles distant, Capt. Voege was compelled to refuse.
"While this conversation was going on, the steamship Trojan, from Newport News for Glasgow, came along, and after being signaled by the Rossmore also declined to tow. The Rossmore was listed heavily to port and was wallo-wing in the trough. Her fires were out and her rudder was disabled. As she was rather deep, it was evident also that she was making water.
Capt. Voege had offered to take off the men, but the Captain of the disabled vessel was loath to leave his ship, and Capt. Voege therefore signaled that he was going to proceed on his course. The reply came quickly, "Don't leave me."
Toward noon the chief officer of the Rossmore went aboard the tanker and explained his vessel's condition. She had passed through the same weather that had done much damage to the tanker. A week out from Liverpool the steering gear had become disabled and twice again it had been broken after repairs.
Falling off between the seas, the steamer had been badly strained and had sprung a leak. There were already sever-al feet of water in two of the holds, where there was a cargo of salt and china, clay. One of the men, Joseph Quayle, had been killed by falling down a hatchway, one of the engineers had broken his collar bone, and several of the men had suffered sundry injuries by being knocked down.
Capt. Voege said, that it would be impossible for him to tow the Rossmore, and the chief officer returned to his vessel. Capt. Duncanson of that vessel soon afterward signaled that he would abandon. The wind had meantime increased in violence, and the seas were lashing themselves into a ferment. It was dangerous to launch a boat, but a crew of the tanker's men got one ready while the waves were breaking against their vessel's side in a fashion that boded no good for those who should attempt to put off.
Chief Officer Fred Heins and eight men manned her and got away. It was about 3 o'clock in the afternoon then, and the crew of the Rossmore had meantime got a boat launched also. It was full of men, but they were apparently un-able to get clear of the vessel's side. The Rotterdam's boat drew near, and as it swept alongside, under the impetus of the sea, the officer in command of her shouted to the Rossmore's men to jump. It would be the only chance. There were thirteen of the men, both crew and cattlemen, who were returning here in her, and who decided to take the chance. They reached the boat safely.
The port side of the Rossmore was, in fact, little above the water, and the jump was not a very long one, but it had to be made quickly and with allowance for the rise and fall of the boat on the crests of the waves. Then followed a long pull for the Rotterdam.
The boat had not escaped injury in getting away, and she was leaking. It was soon found impossible to make any headway in the direction of the Rotterdam, and the boat was therefore headed before the blow. This was seen aboard the tanker, which steamed around so as to intercept it. The boat had been gone two hours when she was finally hoisted aboard again.
Next came a signal from the Rossmore: "Boat adrift."
The Rotterdam, drew nearer and made out the Rossmore's boat which had previously been seen alongside. The tanker manoeuvred so that it came astern, and the ten men in it were hauled aboard. Thirty had got into it when it had been cast off, but drifting under the steamer's counter, it had been damaged, and twenty of the men had got back aboard the steamer.
The Trojan had meantime got out a boat also and rescued nine men. It was impossible to do anything further that night, and the Rotterdam stood by. One of the men saved in the last boat was Olga Trikke, a seaman, whose legs had been mangled by the boat's being caught under the Rossmore's counter.
The next day the storm was too severe to permit of the boats being launched. The Rossmore's position was now very perilous.
Her port rail was under water,, and she was listed to 45 degrees. She was signaled to try rafts, and an attempt was made to construct a raft aboard her, but no rescues were made that day. The Trojan had disappeared during the night.
At daylight of the 8th, Capt. Voege signaled that he would have to proceed at noon of that day as his coal was getting short. Worse, if possible, were the seas now, and oil was being used from the tank steamer to quiet the turmoil. It was after noon when a boat was launched from the Rossmore, and it brought the remaining twenty men of her crew. They were got aboard, but several of the men had been injured. It was 10 o'clock that night when the Rotterdam finally stood again on her course.
Capt. Duncanson said when he arrived here yesterday with his forty-two men that the voyage had been one series of mishaps from the start. The disabling of the steering gear was the primary cause of fill the trouble, as the vessel fell off and was at the mercy of the seas; then she sprung a leak, and the pumps got choked, and as the water gained the fires were put out. The cook was unable to cook because of the list and the rolling of the vessel, and the men were without hot food or drink. The Rossmore had been tossing helplessly for twenty-tour hours when the Rotterdam came along.
In response to Capt. Voege's signal, they had built a raft the second day, but completed it too late that night to be of any use. Next day he decided to try the boat instead.
The men are being cared for here by the British Consul General. The first and third officers were among the ones who went to the Trojan. Among those brought here besides the Captain, were Second Officer H.W. Warlon, Chief Engineer Ellas Buchanan, Second Engineer William Watson, Third Engineer Charles MacDonald, Fourth Engineer David Storm, and Chief Stteward Charles Williams.
A cable received last night from St. Michael's said that the Austrian steamship Hermine had arrived there from Nor-folk and reported passing the derelict Rossmore on Feb. 12  in latitude 38 degrees longitude 40 degrees, heavily listed to port and with her funnel gone. Her boats were gone and her bridge had been washed away. She was drifting in a northwesterly direction and was a menace to navigation.
The Rossmore was built at Liverpool in 1889 and registered 2,867 tons. She was owned by William Johnson & Co., of Liverpool.