"A thrilling tale was unfolded by the exhausted officers and crew of the American ship REUCE, in command of Capt. F. B. Dinsmore, which unexpectedly put into Sydney yesterday in distress.
The vessel sailed from Newcastle last week with a cargo of coal consigned to San Francisco. When about 300 miles on her journey, almost due east of Sydney Heads, the REUCE was assailed by strong southeasterly and north-easterly gales, and she was hove-to under lower topsails. The gale increased in violence and terrific seas were running, the result being that the vessel was strained severely. Suddenly she took a list to starboard, and all hands were engaged for some hours in trimming the cargo to right the ship.
To the dismay of all on board, when the wells were sounded, it was found that there were 4 feet of water in the holds. All the pumps were manned, and for a time the inflow was kept in check. The steam pumps worked by the donkey-engine then became deranged, and the handpump had to be solely relied upon. The REUCE continued to labour heavily, and all hands were called upon to work night and day. The position became even more critical when the hand-pump broke down owing to the packing carrying away. By this time the water had increased to 5ft 9 inches. After a few hours work, the carpenter succeeded in repairing the pump, and the volume of water was temporarily reduced. Eventually, the hand-pump was worked by the captain and the cabin boy, while the sailors were employed below in rimming the shifted cargo. No sooner had the REUCE been righted, then she gave a sudden lurch, and her cargo moved over to the other side.
For several days all the sailors and some of the officers were engaged in moving the coal cargo, while the remainder of the ship's company took their turn at the hand-pumps. When the gales moderated the REUCE had 5' 3" of water in her holds, but the pump again became disabled, and the water continued to gain on the vessel. The master then resolved to make for Sydney, the nearest port, and much to the relief of all on board favourable winds were met with on the run back. By Sunday the depth of water had increased to 5' 5", and when the REUCE entered the Heads shortly before midday yesterday the soundings gave 5' 9".
The pumps were still in operation last night on board the REUCE at her anchorage below Garden Island, but until a survey has been made the leak cannot be located. The REUCE is a wooden vessel of 1925 tons gross, and 1601 tons net, and was built in 1881 by Mr. Thompson at Kennebunk, Maine. She is owned by the Californian Shipping Co of San Francisco, at which port she is registered."
Above text from Sydney Morning Herald 26 May 1908.
Courtesy of the National Library of Australia
1889: Known among seamen in her Cape Horn days as the "Hungry REUCE." Late in this year she arrived in San Francisco with 17 of her crew down with scurvy.
1891: It was charged this year that a seaman was trussed up to the mizzen stay off Cape Horn by the mates and later drowned while attempting to escape.
1917: after 30 years serving from San Francisco, REUCE was taken from Oakland mudflats and put into cannery service by Columbia-Pacific Packers of Portland, OR.
1922: the old wooden ship REUCE of the C.R. Packers was sold for the Oriental Lumber trade, although she had a sideline––a still being found turning out bootleg whiskey on board.
1924: REUCE was wrecked 10 Feb on the coast of Japan.