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  • doug.butler 19 Feb 2013 at 10:30
    For Captain Sivier read Captain (Thomas J.) Sevier

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With regard to Pilot Ben Germein, whose remains were found on Tuesday, our shipping reporter writes:— He was a very old Portonian, being one of the earliest importations under charter with the South Australian Company. His father was an old Plymouth native, who

was selected with his family to come out on the company's account, and for a time he served under the company in any maritime position offering. Being from the west country the lads grew up intrepid and fearless beach- men, and as soon as the Port was settled, when Captain Quin was a pilot the Germeins were his crew, all of whom were afterwards made pilots. Ben proved a remarkably clever pilot and was known by the special  

attention he gave to knocking about vessels under canvas. Later on he was chosen as master of the Government schooner Yatala, where he distinguished himself on several occasions, and became acquainted with every small corner of our extended coastline. Afterwards he was chosen for the McDonnell harbormastership, being also in charge of the lighthouse on Cape Northumberland. There he lost some of his fingers in rescuing Captain Sivier from the brig John Ormerod, bound from here to Melbourne. She had capsized in a gale off the lighthouse, and when the morning dawned Ben Germein shoved out in a very indifferent boat and rescued the survivors from the brig's bot- tom. Later on he distinguished himself in the rescue from the ill-fated steamer Admella, when he was partlv instrumental in saving the

lives of several well-known colonists. For this action he was decorated with the gold medal of the Royal Humane Society, a silver medal from Victoria, and a silver medal specially struck by South Australia to com- memorate bhe courage of those interested. For some time he remained in charge of the light house, but the love of change at length in- duced him to rejoin the pilot service, of which he was one of the smartest members in days of old, when the principal duties were to boxhaul sailing vessels about. When the pilot's duty changed from sail to steam, Ben Germein lost his sympathy with the service. Later on he had several peculiar experiences amongst the islands, and on one occasion was for eix weeks alone cruising about amongst the Sir Joseph Banks Group in a 10-ton cutter. In later years he joined the harbor pilot service, and worked quietly, except that occasionally he would take a solitary trip on the briny.