James Avis (1845-1890)

Whilst the steamship Harrogate was undergoing repairs in the Bute Dry Dock in Cardiff in September 1890, three workmen , John Simmons, E Arnold & George Carr went into a storage tank to remove damaged plates. James Avis , of 13 Kent Street, standing nearby heard a cry for help and went over to see what was happening. He was immediately overpowered by noxious fumes and fell headfirst into the tank.

Although the other men were successfully artificially resuscitated, Avis was dead. All three became hysterical and violent, one having to be restrained by 6 men.

There had been a fire on the ship a few days before and Carbonic acid was produced in quantity, affecting the three men as they clambered in.

The Jury returned a verdict that all such tanks should in future be tested for impure air prior to the workmen being allowed to enter them. It was contemplated that legal proceeding were to take place against the riggers orders to go down "the tunnel" of the ship.