Drowning at Sumner.
Yesterday the only surviving eon of Mr J. Colborne-Veel, Secretary to the North Canterbury Board of Education, was accidentally drowned at Sumner. The deceased, who was about fourteen years of age, was about noon strolling along the beach in company with Master Frank Hart, aged about eleven years, son of Mr George Hart, of the Press. The two boys got into a punt which was tied up at Burns' jetty, and after some minutes the rope fastening the pant became undone. The tide was running out with great strength, and the punt having drifted from the shore was carried into the stream.
In the boat were one oar and half a paddle. Master Veel tried to scull the boat in, but unfortunately dropped the oar overboard. He wished Hart to jump in and recover it, but Hart, fortunately for himself, had not sufficient confidence is his swimming powers. The deceased then endeavoured to make shift with the half paddle, but his efforts only resulted in the punt getting athwart the stream with imminent danger of being capsized.
The deceased then sprang out with the intention of swimming ashore, where he might give the alarm, but was unable to hold his own against the tide.
Young Hart, seeing him sink, whistled for Mr Milner's black dog, which was on the beach, and the intelligent creature seemed at once to understand what was required. Swimming out to where deceased had sunk, it caught hold of him, and being unable thus to save him, seized his coat collar. The weight of the body and the strength of the stream were too much for it, and after being dragged beneath the surface for a foot or two it was compelled to let go its hold.
Deceased was seen to rise to the surface several times before finally sinking. Subsequently Mr Monck saw the punt with young Hart in it drifting along rapidly near Shag Bock, and taking his boat rowed out and rescued the boy.
Deceased's body was found about 2 o'clock by Mr Joseph Day; it had been carried about three hundred yards from where the accident happened. The body was removed to Mr Tool's residence at Sumner, where an inquest will be held.
Star , Issue 4627, 26 February 1883, Page 3