Inquest into death of Henry Sandford


An inquest was held, on Thursday, on board the barque Caspar, at the Port, on the body of Henry Sandford, a passenger by that ship, and brother of Emily Sandford, who, the night before, fell from the wharf and was drowned. - James Steward, a seaman belonging to the Lady Clarke, stated that, about ten o'clock, as he was going to his ship, he saw several people on the gangway of the Caspar, and was told that a man was overboard. A light was brought, and he descended between the side of the Caspar and the wharf, and there saw the body jammed between the skids and the ship's side. The head was under the water. Witnesses caught hold of the body, got the ship shoved off, and then handed the body up to those above. The deceased did not breath for two or three minutes after he had been brought up. - Charles Searle, passenger by the Caspar deposed that the deceased and two other passengers were going towards the ship from the wharf gates, and, as they neared the ship, the deceased went a little in advance. Witness was the last to reach the plank which connected the ship to the wharf, and, as soon as he got there, he heard a splash. Witness crawled up the plank and got on board. Went to get a light, but, before he came back, the body had been taken up. After being rubbed for a short time, the deceased spoke, but breathed with great difficulty, and was eventually put into his berth. Although he had had a little drink, the deceased could walk perfectly straight and firm. - Thomas Cowper, Surgeon Superintendent of the Caspar, deposed to being called to the deceased, who was lying on the wharf insensible. After five minutes he began to breathe. He was taken on board, undressed, and put into flannel, and the rubbing continued. Shortly after he spoke, but he died in about an hour and a half after being taken out of the water. There was a wound on the right side of his forehead, as if caused by a dreadful blow. Should say that death ensued from drowning, which was facilitated by internal injury from the fall. Verdict, “Accidental death from drowning.”


Ref: South Australian Register, 22 September 1849