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The Evening Post May 14th 1877

The barque Andrew Reid, 814 tons, Captain Alexander, arrived in this harbour yesterday, from London, consigned to the New Zealand Shipping Company, with cargo for this port and also for Napier, wither she will proceed after discharging her Wellington cargo. The Andrew Reid left London on 15th January, and the Downs 18th, landing the pilot on the 22nd, and clearing the English Channel on the 25th. Experienced light winds to the Equator, which was crossed on the 22nd February. Moderate S E trades were met with, and the Cape of Good Hope was rounded on the 29th March. The westerlies were moderate until the 26th April, when a strong S E gale was encountered, compelling the ship to hove to. Passed Tasmania on the 80th day out, and subsequently sustained another heavy S E gale. Sighted Cape Farewell on the 6th inst., 100 days from the English Channel, and encountered the furious westerly gale of last week in Cook Strait. Arrived off the Heads yesterday morning, and was brought into harbour by Pilot Holmes. When the Andrew Reid was in the Bay of Biscay, a vessel was sighted bottom upwards. Captain Alexander went close to her, but was unable to discover anything suggesting her name. It was a vessel of about 500 tons, and a hole was visible in her bottom.

The Evening Post May 25th 1877

Yesterday afternoon a Mr. Turner, while walking on the wharf, saw the body of a man standing in an upright position in the water between the wharf and the ship Andrew Reid. Instead of at once raising an ontcry he went to the police station and gave information. A constable went to the spot, but the body had by this time been carried away by the current, and it has not been seen since. A black felt hat nearly new was picked up near where the body is said to have been seen, and the friends of any missing man may see it at the police station.

The Evening Post May 26th 1877

It is now tolerably certain that the body of the man which was seen floating in the harbour near the wharf on Thursday last is that of a sailor belonging to the ship Andrew Reid. It appears that about half an hour before the body was seen the sailor in question, whose name was David Roberts, was observed walking along the wharf in the direction of his ship, and it is supposed that in endeavoring to get on board he fell overboard without being noticed by anybody. He was 28 years of age and a native of Liverpool. The body has not yet been found.

The Evening Post May 28th 1877

A rather curious circumstance in connection with the case of the sailor David Roberts, who is supposed to have been drowned by falling into the harbour on Thursday last, has come under our notice. It will be remembered that about half an hour after the man was last seen walking towards the ship Andrew Reid, a Mr Turner saw a body in an upright position in the water, but by the time assistance was obtained the body had disappeared, but a felt hat which was identified as the property of Roberts was picked up near the spot. Nothing was seen of the body until yesterday afternoon, when it is stated that some persons observed a dark mass just below the surface of the water, between the wharf and the ship Andrew Reid. It is further stated that the object was found to be the body of a man and that an attempt was made to get it up, when suddenly it disappeared. If this story be true, as it is alleged to be, and the body was that of Roberts it is a most curious circumstance that the body should have remained for upwards of three days in one spot.

The Evening Post May 29th 1877

At half-past one o'clock this afternoon the body of David Roberts, the missing sailor belonging to the ship Andrew Reid, was found. A man named Alexander Connell, who is employed on the wharf, occupied his leisure time after dinner in grappling for the body, which had twice been seen floating between the ship Andrew Reid and the wharf. He had not been at work long before he felt something at the end of his line, and on drawing it to the surface it was found to be the body of Roberts. The attention of the police was directed to the matter, and the body was conveyed to the morgue by Constable Carroll. An inquest will be held to-morrow.

The Evening Post May 30th 1877

An inquest was held at the Morgue this afternoon, before Dr. Johnston, Coroner, and 6 jury, touching the death of David Roberts, a seaman belonging to the barque Andrew Reid, who was found drowned in the Wellington harbour. George Phillips second mate of the Andrew Reid, deposed that the deceased was one of the hands belonging to that vessel. He was almost thirty years of age and a native of Liverpool; he joined the Andrew Reid in London last January; witness last saw deceased alive at 2 p.m. on the 24th inst at the door of the Pier Hotel; he was not quite sober, but was able to take care of himself; wotness advised deceased to go on board, as he had had quite enough to drink; deceased then walked along the wharf in the direction of the ship; next morning he did not turn up at work, and on making enquiries, it appeared that he had not been seen on board since the previous day; there was no difficulty in getting on board, there being a good gangway. Daniel C. Turner deposed, that at 3 p.m. on the 24th he saw deceased floating in the water, just outside the outer T of the Queen's Wharf; witness at first thought it was a dog in the water, but afterwards saw it was the head and shoulders of a human body in an upright position, the hair being just awash and floating up and down with the waves; witness at once reported the case to the police station, and returned to the wharf, but could not see the body then. Evidence was given as to the subsequent discovery of the body. The jury returned a verdict of accidental drowning.