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The Report of the Death of Hans JACOBSEN

From "The Colonist"

Friday, January 10th 1862

The following report was found in a newspaper by Jane Baird.

We hear with regret of an accident that occurred last week at the buller, which resulted in the death of Mr. Jacobsen, sen, an old and industrious settler who had proceeded from Nelson in the ketch Jane (which vessel was principally built by the industrious exertions of the deceased) to spend Christmas with his son Henry the owner of the craft, who had for some time previously been located at the Buller River in the pursuit of gold-digging.

The Jane arrived off the mouth of the Buller with cargo and several passengers on the 23rd, but was obliged to go to sea again in consequence of an unfavourable wind. She again approached land on the 24th and dropped anchor at the mouth of the Buller just before dusk, a boat was then lowered and the deceased, with three other men (T. Tucker), Gollop and another) pulled for shore to obtain water. At the time of their leaving the vessel, the water on the bar was perfectly smooth, but as the boat crossed the bar a sudden breaker swamped her, throwing the men into the sea to struggle for their lives.

Yet the boat did not sink, but drifted towards shallow water, the tide setting her seaward, the four men clinging to her as well as they could with the sea breaking over them continually. After being in this perilous situation for nearly half-an-hour a whaleboat, whose crew had been outside fishing, picked up the three men, Mr. Jacobsen having held on with the assistance of others until almost the last moment, but becoming exhausted with the struggle a breaker carried him away just before help reached them.

The body had not been recovered up to the time of the Jane leaving. The boat with oars and gear and mail also were lost, although a diligent search was made for the latter for miles along the beach.

Before the Jane reached the harbour she had to ride out a gale on the night of the 24th, which lasted until the middle of Christmas day. She then made for port, and the wind being very light, the tide and sea set her in towards the beach and she hadf to anchor in the breakers; towards night it came on to blow hard again from the sea, and Mr. H Jacobsen signalled her to come ashore for the greater safety of the passengers. This was done, and passengers and cargo were safely landed on the sandy beach close to the river mouth; the diggers having assembled there to render all assistance they could. No damage was accorded to the vessel or any part of her cargo.

The Jane left Nelson on Sunday the 15th December, and arrived at the mouth of the Buller on the Saturday following (the 21st) the wind veering to the S.W. with a heavy gale and the land being clouded she had put to sea. This was repeated each day up to the 23rd as before described.

The Colonist: Death Notice
On the 24th December 1861 at the Buller River by drowning, Mr. Hans Jacobsen, aged 64 years.

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