Friday 16 September 1836

[, on board the wrote. | Read source notes.]

Friday Sepr 16 Gloom seems to be daily becoming more
the natural element of the Buffalo. In place of the
mirth which last evening promised us, a most melancholy
crossing the line we have had. One of the sailors a young
man named Story, the only support of a widowed mother,
fell overboard last night while heaving the lead, sounding
for a shoal marked in the Admiralty Charts but which is in
fact generally believed not to exist. He was missed in a few
minutes after the accident had taken place, and a boat
was lowered, but he was lost. To add to the misery of his
fate the poor fellow was an excellent swimmer, and
most probably suffered a horrible & lingering death. It
seems astonishing that the readiest and most efficient
means of salvation in such cases should not have been thought
of, and that the life buoy was not let go: it is provided with
a light and he might have seen it and swam to it, while
he could not see the boat. Since this accident the Sentry on
the poop has received orders to slip the life buoy at the cry
of “a man overboard”, without waiting for orders from the
officer of the watch. This might have been done before,
it may however yet be useful.

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