About seven o’clock in the evening, a gale sprung up, the sea ran high, and the lashings of the raft began to give way, the planks which formed the platform were washed off, and in a short time the mast and sail were also carried away. An anchor-stock which formed part of the raft had separated, and was floating away; but although it was at some distance, Scott proposed to swim for it, and encouraging three others to follow his example, they all reached it in safety. In about an hour afterwards they lost sight of their companions on the raft, and never saw them more. The four men upon the anchor-stock gained the shore, and they then fell into the hands of the Malays.
Thomas Scott was twice sold as a slave, but was at length released, at the request of Major Taylor, the governor of Malacca, who, hearing that four British seamen were captives at Lingan, sent to the Sultan to beg his assistance in procuring their liberty. Thomas Scott returned with Major Taylor’s messenger to Malacca, from whence he sailed to England: the other three men had been previously released by the Sultan’s orders, and conveyed to Penang.
On Monday, January the 28th, 1799, His Majesty’s frigate Proserpine, 28 guns, commanded by Captain James Wallis, sailed from Yarmouth to Cuxhaven. She had on board the Hon. Thomas Grenville, who was the bearer of important despatches for the Court of Berlin. On Wednesday, the 30th, the ship was off Heligoland, and there took in a pilot for the Elbe. The day being fine, with a fair wind from the N.N.E., the Proserpine’s course was steered