Passengers at the Port of San Francisco: 1800s
Captain D. E. Griffith
THE LOST COLIMA.
The sinking of the Colima (Captain D. E. Griffith) in a coral reef near Manzanillo on Monday last and the loss of 178 lives adds another to the long list of disasters on this side of the Atlantic. From all sources of information thus far received it is positive that the accident was not due to the carelessness of the officers and crew nor to any mistake on their part. A strong veering wind caught the vessel and drove her upon the reef and stove a hole in her bottom, causing her to sink inside of ten minutes.
It is evident that the boats were launched at once with human freight, but as only one of them has been heard from thus far there is a belief that the suction from the vessel pulled them down before they could get clear of the ship. Although when the vessel struck one of her masts fell over and killed the captain and two of his men; the next officer in command at once took charge and did all in his power to save the lives of his passengers, but in vain.
It is now a foregone conclusion that Professor Whiting of the University and his family have lost their lives, as he would not at such a time be parted from any of them, and as there were five they evidently died together. There is still a hope, however, that some of the boats got away from the ship and will be picked up by some of the vessels now searching for them, and that some anxious hearts will be made glad. None of the rescued passengers have yet been heard from to tell just how the accident occurred but all will be known in a few days, and the friends of those who were saved can weep tears of joy, while the friends of those who were lost will shed tears of sorrow and grief.
Atlantic Daily Telegraph
June 1, 1895.
June 6, 1895, Rolfe Reveille
SANK BY THE SCORE.
COLIMA VICTIMS OVERTAKEN BY DEATH WHILE ASLEEP
Latest Reports Swell the List of Lost to 103--The Vessel's Boilers Burst Fifty Miles Off the Mexican Coast--Nineteen Were Saved.
Had 182 Persons on Board.
Only meager and unsatisfactory advices have been received regarding the foundering of the Pacific Mail steamer Colima at Manzanillo, Mexico. The officials of the Pacific Mail in San Francisco persisted- in the statement that they had received no information of the wreck of the steamer, and they tried to discredit entirely the statements of the disaster. Several dispatches have been received by the Merchants' Exchange and by private shipping firms all confirming the tale of the ocean tragedy, and varying only in the minuteness of the information conveyed.
Capt. Pitts of the steamer San Juan telegraphed that he picked up a boat containing nineteen persons, fourteen of whom were passengers and five members of the crew of the Colima. The rescued boatload was taken to Manzanillo and the steamer San Juan started out again in search of other boats from the Colima, the presumption being that the balance of passengers and crew was afloat in other boats.
The Colima's Boiler Burst.
The latest intelligence regarding the disaster received was in cipher message to a San Francisco shipping firm containing the statement of Third Officer Hansen, who was In charge of the boat picked up. Hansen stated that about 11:15 at night as the Colima was about fifty miles from Manzanillo, and between that port and Punta St. Almo, an accident occurred to her machinery. Hansen had not time to investigate the trouble, but believed a boiler had burst. The Colima was put about, but began to sink rapidly.
A scene of wild confusion followed. One boat was lowered and most of the others swung out, but so far as Hansen knows the boat be commanded was the only one which got clear of the sinking ship. It quickly foundered, and to avoid the suction Hansen's boat quickly pulled clear, and the night being dark, it was Impossible to toll whether tho other boats got away from tho ship or not.
The Colima was a single-screw propeller with Iron hull. She was built In 1873 at Chester, Pa., by John Roach & Sons. Her tonnage was 2,009.64 gross, 2,143.85 net, her horsepower J ,100 and her speed eleven and one-half knots.
This was her one hundred and twenty-ninth voyage to Panama. She carried about 2,000 tons of cargo and was valued at $103,000.