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details added to the profound effects of the event.

There were also on board many single young ladies that looked forward to dancing and hearing the band. The longing for an entertaining trip was such that a delegation was created to perform cultural talks. However, nobody thought it was a good omen when Dr. Alfredo Segres gave a detailed account of a shipwreck during one of the talks.

On January 21, at 9 am, the ship enters the Bay of Ushuaia. During the afternoon some of the passengers leave the ship to briefly visit the town and come back on board to spend the night. The next morning they leave the boat once again. Some send telegrams to their relatives and families, to let them know how well the trip is going. Others take the time to visit the prison and see the fearsome convicts through the barred windows. Still others decide to walk through town, buy regional products and go to church. Later, they return to the ship to have lunch or walk on deck. At 1 p.m. approximately, there is a thunderous noise from the engine room while the ship sharply tips on its left side, alarming the passengers. Not knowing yet the magnitude of what was taking place, men try to calm the women that have started crying and screaming.
The ship viciously tilted from side to side. From the engine room a heavy smoke gushes out. The sea is dangerously close to the deck while the passengers reach for the lifejackets and lifeboats.

What had happened? The gigantic ship had crashed against the rocky isles known as "Les Eclaires", but the charts had been indicating to stay away from the isles since it was well known by then that it was a deathtrap. The dangerous change in the course, ordered by Captain Dreyer, was absurd and he must have known it since he had decided to let the waters take him when he realized the ship was lost.

The reasons for his error gave place to dozens of speculations published by the newspapers of the time who, absurdly, did not believe his death. Furthermore, during a long time the captain’s widow published several ads offering rewards for any information on his whereabouts.

The Ushuaian population immediately realized what was taking place. The Ushuaians watched in anguish from the bay while the first rescue teams were being organized. Nevertheless, the castaways would suffer hours of anguish in the violent sea of Tierra del Fuego before the first ship, the "Vicente Fidel López", reached them. Soon, the scared and almost frozen survivors were rescued by the "López". They were soaked and worn out by the terrible experience they had gone through. They had to wait almost 6 hours before they reached land once again. In Ushuaia – were a new chapter in history was being written – the townsmen kindly helped and sheltered the survivors. The townsmen’s generosity was well remembered by the survivors, making many of them return, after 50, years to pay homage to their saviors.

This event has stayed in the Ushuaian conscience, in addition to the many intents to rescue the remains of the "Cervantes", now sunk for ever. The hundreds of kindly deeds performed during those tragic days, and the stories provided by the survivors filled the pages of the Argentine newspapers for a long time. The many photographs taken during the shipwreck have now become part of the Ushuaian inheritance.


      page 10  
1-2-3-4-5-6     INTRODUCTION  
7-8     CHAPTER 1 - From Far West to Patagonia - BUTCH CASSIDY  
9-10     CHAPTER 2 - Tragedy of the Cervantes - THE “MONTE CERVANTES” SHIPWRECK  
11     CHAPTER 3 - The First Flight over Tierra del Fuego - GUNTHER PLÜSCHOW  
12     CHAPTER 4 - The Promised Land - THE ROAD OF THE WELSH PEOPLE  
13-14     Chapter 5 - The Watchman of the South - LUIS PIEDRA BUENA  
15-16     Chapter 6 - The Prison of the End of the World - Ushuaia’s Prison  
17     Chapter 7 - The Perito Moreno Glacier - FRANCISCO PANCRACIO MORENO  
18     Chapter 8 - THE FATHER DE AGOSTINI  
19-20     Chapter 9 - Long Live the King! - ORLLIE ANTOINE  
21     Chapter 10 - No Place for Women - ELLA HOFFMAN de BRUNSWICK  
22     Chapter 11 - The Boundless Empire - JOSE MENENDEZ  
23-24-25     Chapter 12 - Dreams of Gold - JULIUS POPPER  
27-28-29-30     PRESS ISSUE