On the afternoon of the 31st October, 1906, the British Indian Steam Navigation Company’s steamer “Chupra” arrived in Bombay Harbour with a fire burning in the hold. After anchoring, she was ordered out into deeper water, and the anchor had thus to be hove up, two of the native crew being sent down to the chain locker to stow the chain. On their going down they were struck down by foul gas which had accumulated as the result of the fire. This being observed, a third man went down, but was also overcome. The chief officer, Mr. G.D. Cornell, then went down, and as the result of his efforts the third man was got on deck. Again Mr. Cornell went down and succeeded in sending up another man, who recovered, but has since died in hospital.
Mr. Cornell being now joined by Mr. A.W. Webster, fourth officer on the steamer, these two went down, but the first officer, being overcome, had to be got out. Mr. Webster now went down by himself, and succeeded in bringing up the third man, who was dead.
Great risk was incurred, both officers being much affected by the deadly gas which had penetrated from the burning hold. The silver medal was voted to G.D. Cornell and A.W. Webster. Very fine.