Tagged (None yet)

Add Tags

Comments (None yet)

Add New Comment

6 corrections, most recently by robbosun - Show corrections

SHIPWRECK AT THE

HEADS.

Sydney was, yesterday, thrown into a state of great anxiety and alarm, by the report that, during the pre- vious night, a large ship, with a considerable number of passengers, had been wrecked outside the South Reef at the Heads. The first information was com-

municated by Captain Wiseman, of the steamship Grafton. He stated that on rounding the North Head, and entering between the Heads, he was surrounded by pieces of timber, bales of goods, bedding, and sundry things which made it evident that somewhere near a ship had gone ashore or been cast away. Various idle rumours and speculations continued during the day, as to its being an emigrant ship, a merchant vessel, and a Manila   sugar ship ; and also that 70 bodies had been washed

ashore.

We have endeavoured to possess ourselves of all the facts which can, up to the time of going to press, be

ascertained.  

It appears that Mr. Pilot Hyde first discovered the wreck, about half-past seven yesterday morning. He im-     mediately called Mr. Pilot Robson, and, together, they searched along the coast to the southward until they saw the remains of a vessel, half-way between the Gap and the Lighthouse. They thought her a ship of 1000 tons, very heavily timbered, masts and bowsprits hooped ; figure, a gilt scroll ; had the appearance of an American-built ship, with copper fastenings,     and her internal fittings consisted of a large quantity of unpainted lightwood, such as is used in immi- grant ships. A large quantity of soft goods have been washed ashore, consisting of calicos, prints, clothing, silks, carpeting, bagging, felt hats, shirts, candies, and children's toys. A pianoforte and sofa were also observed floating near the wreck. The pilots and their crews searched along the rocks and de- scended the cliffs, but could see nothing branded.

Captain Mollison is of opinion that the ship was of North American build, whilst Captain Forbes thinks

she was a British-built vessel.

On proceeding to tho Gap in the afternoon, we found the residents of that locality watching with great horror the dead and mutilated bodies as they   were thrown upon the rocks, the succeeding waves washing off again the naked remains. There were men, women, and children ----their number   was variously estimated at from twenty to fifty. But it was difficult to ascertain the number, as the bodies were thrown up on the ledge of the rocks and again taken off by the violence of the surf. Several hundred persons proceeded to the Heads during the afternoon in omnibuses, cabs, and other vehicles, whilst numbers walked to the scene of this dreadful disaster.

The following facts were brought to us in the course of the evening: The Portmaster, Captain Puckley, reports twelve bodies ashore in Middle Harbour, one, evidently an officer, with gilt buttons on the coat marked W B W and a crest; mail bag, No. 2,* marked per Dunbar, Plymouth, May 29 ; a cask of tripe, marked Dunbar. A large

portion of the wreck had floated into Middle Harbour and part of the handrails have the carving of a   lion upon them. Mr Isaac Moore reports picking up, near the Sand Spit, Middle Harbour, two or three beer cask-heads with Tooth's brand ; and the bodies of two respectably-dressed men and of a woman, with a ring on her finger. On George's Beach, as reported by a special messenger from this office, the body of a little boy, quite naked, and apparently about four years of age, with black hair, was picked up ; also a cow, red with white spots, and short horns, was seen floating near this spot, sur- rounded by sharks, who were eagerly devouring the animal. The top of a case, marked J. C, was picked up, and a quantity of pork and boxes of candles. Amongst the articles were several boys' cricket bats, which correspond with an invoice of goods on board the Dunbar belonging to Messrs. Thompson, Symonds,

and Co.

Part of the head of a two-dozen pickle case is at our office, the brand " & Co." in half a diamond over S

328

A parchment direction label, with the address " Mylne, passenger, Scotland -," a lady's nightdress, embroidered, with the name "Dobelle;" and a pocket handkerchief marked " Howell," have been picked up. A door with green blinds, numbered 68, was

found near the Heads.

Messrs. Chapman and Hayes returned late yesterday evening, having been down as far as George's Head, and state that on the sandy beach known as Edward's Beach they discovered about 40 feet of the keel and flooring timber of a vessel, copper-fastened, and two sheets of copper still attached to some of the planking. The timbers were of teak. They also picked up a gangway board, with a lion carved on it. The copper fastenings of the timbers were of great thickness, and very close together. An immense quantity of general cargo was also lying on the beach.

The cargo on board the Dunbar was invoiced at about £72,000. The Captain of the Europa was in company with a large ship for five days, on this coast, but did not ascertain her name ; and the master of the Nora Creina steamer reported a large ship standing to

the east.

Both these vessels arrived on Thursday the former in the morning, and the latter in the evening.

The weather during the whole of Thursday was particularly squally, the wind being in the N.E. quarter, with a heavy sea from the eastward. Towards the evening it shifted to the W. and N. W., and by mid- night blew a gale at S., veering to S.E. towards day- light, which continued all yesterday with a tremen- dous sea setting dead on the land.

Such are the facts which we have been able to collect. There is evidence sufficient to excite the most anxious and painful concern regarding the Dun- bar; but we demur, with the present proofs, to declare   positively that that fine ship, with her greatly     respected commander, Captain Green, and a large  

number of passengers, many of them old and much respected colonists, is really lost. The Dunbar is reported in the Home News, of the 16th of June, as having sailed for Sydney from Plymouth on the 2nd of that month, with the following passengers: Mr. and Mrs. A.Meyer and six children, Miss J. Wake, Mr.

and Mrs. Waller and six children, Miss S.Fothergill, Miss E. King, Mr. and Mrs. Milne and two daughters, Miss Hunt, Mr. and Mrs. Culinac, Mrs. Egan, Messrs. Troughton, James Tindall, Davidson, Simmons, and M'Quoid. In addition to these, Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Peek were supposed to be on board.

It is somewhat surprising that guns were heard in Sydney and blue lights observed, but the pilots appear not to have been aware of that circumstance.

Saturday Morning, one o'clock.    

Captain McLerie returned from Middle Harbour

about half-past 12 o'clock. He informs us there are  

twelve bodies recovered. A steamer will leave the Circular Quay at 9 am this morning, to convey the Inspector-General of Police and the Coroner, and shells to put the bodies recovered in. Two cows and a horse have been washed ashore at Middle Harbour.

Captain McLerie, being of opinion that there are two ships wrecked, intends sending a party of mounted police early this morning to examine the coast from Coogee to the Lighthouse. Captain McLerie left a party of mounted police at Middle Harbour through the night, and several parties are in custody for wreck-

ing.

Digitisation generously supported by
Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation
Digitisation generously supported by

Zoom

plus
thumb
minus
left
thumb
right
up
thumb
down