Home > 250th Anniversary Stories > Invalided Captain rescues an apprentice while on a journey home

Invalided Captain rescues an apprentice while on a journey home

Year 1904

Read by Manoo Mootien – Supporter, Royal Humane Society

Please share...
Share on InstagramShare on LinkedIn
Play Video

Mackenzie, Thomas C., Captain, Royal Army Medical Corps.

Stanhope Gold Medal 1904

At 9.30 a.m. on the 22nd September, 1904, while the Messageries Maritimes Company’s Steamer Saghalien, from Mauritius to Marseilles, was in the Ionian Sea, steaming at the rate of twelve and a half knots, an apprentice accidentally fell from the ship. Hearing the cry “man overboard!” Captain Thomas C. Mackenzie, R.A.M.C., who was being sent home invalided after a severe attack of pneumonia and typhoid, and was a passenger on the vessel, at once jumped after him.

A lifebuoy was thrown, which fell 75 yards from him, but this he secured, and with it reached the youth, who, although able to swim, was in difficulty owing to his waist-belt having got twisted round his legs. Capt Mackenzie released him, and with the waist-belt lashed him to another buoy which had drifted near, and tying this buoy to his own they awaited rescue. Owing to the choppy sea they had been lost sight of from the steamer, and it was not till forty minutes had elapsed that they were again sighted, when a boat was lowered and they were picked up.

Great risk was incurred, not only by jumping from a steamer going over twelve knots, but also on account of Capt. Mackenzie’s weak state of health, as when embarking three weeks previously he had to be carried on board.

Please share...
Share on InstagramShare on LinkedIn

More about the Royal Humane Society