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Shipwrecks and sea rescue: Shipwrecks, 1881-1889

Chronological list of shipwrecks continued

1881

9 January Orient steamer Chimborazo ran onto the Marion Reef at Troubridge Shoals. She was successfully refloated the next day, without damage. 8 May schooner Experiment capsized during a squall off the Althorpe Islands with the loss of captain and one crew. The schooner had been built in 1874 in Launceston (Gillespie, James, Captain Traders under sail: the cutters, ketches and schooners of South Australia) 24 August steamer Euro was badly holed on a submerged reef near Beachport. The captain managed to drive her ashore under full steam, and all crew and passengers, except one woman, were saved. 12 November ketch Ark was abandoned near Dangerous Reef in Spencer Gulf while on a voyage from Port Germein to Port Adelaide. The crew reached Port Lincoln safely in a small boat.

1882

9 February steam launch Helen was wrecked at Carpenter Rocks - no lives lost. 28 March cutter Dart was lost at Myponga - no lives lost. 10 July cutter Parara was blown ashore by a strong gale near Point Lowly. She was transporting building materials for the lighthouse being erected there. 29 September brig Miss Kilmansegg was irreparably damaged after being driven ashore at Semaphore. 18 October ketch Young Lion was wrecked on Cape Elizabeth Reef while sailing from Port Victoria to Moonta. No loss of life.

1883

2 February schooner Amelia collided with another schooner Grace Darling off Four Hummocks Island in Avoid Bay. Amelia sank but her crew and some cargo was salvaged by Grace Darling. 20 November wooden steamer Little Orient exploded at Port Adelaide while steam was being raised.

1884

20 January Hero was lost at Glenelg. 14 April wooden ketch Mimosa was lost at Stokes Bay, Kangaroo Island. No lives lost. 21 May cutter Treasure Trove was lost at Kingscote, Kangaroo Island. 24 September Alternative was wrecked on rocks at Memory Cove, Eyre Peninsula. 15 June Barque Fanny M was forced ashore in adverse winds near Kingscote while navigating Backstairs Passage. Her cargo of coal was jettisoned in an attempt to refloat her. This was unsuccessful and she was destroyed by fire in mysterious circumstances several days later.

1885

16 June the wooden barque Mars, 487 tons, was driven ashore on Kangaroo Island, while en route from Melbourne to Port Pirie. Three crew members were swept overboard and lost; another seaman was able to swim ashore with a line, enabling another eight to get ashore.  Three of those men reached Cape Borda lighthouse to fetch help. 10 August the ketch Daring was wrecked in Hog Bay, after striking an anchor left by the vessel H.P. Bates. Ship's gear and cargo were saved before she sank. In December the pilot cutter Mary Ann sprang a leak.  Despite the efforts of the crew on the pumps, they were forced to abandon her. After two days in the dinghy they were rescued and taken to Port Augusta.

1886

4 April cutter Annie Watt was destroyed by fire at Port Germein. 22 April yacht Minnie was lost at Glenelg. 24 July fishing boat Pioneer was forced ashore during a gale while sheltering in Marion Bay. The schooner Ewbank was lost on the south coast of Kangaroo Island, and the hulk of the iron barque Sunbeam was sunk in the North Arm, Port River.

1887

13 February wooden barque Kebroyd sprang a leak and was run ashore at Anxious Bay.  Refloated, she was taken to Port Adelaide for service as a hulk. May - the fishing boat Harriet disappeared off Yorke Peninsula. September - the two cutters Red Rover and Athens disappeared near Port Lincoln. 2 September 556 ton barque Guldax dragged her anchors in a storm and went ashore at Normanville. Her masts and rigging came down with the force of the impact. Two boats were launched, one reaching the safety of the shore, but the other returned to the ship and its apparent safety from the violent seas. The remaining crew were taken off by the tug Yatala next day. Most of the cargo of Swedish timber was saved, but the Guldax was destroyed in the storm.

1888

7 January Prussian barque Saturn caught fire at Port Pirie anchorage, after loading wheat there. Boats from Copesfield and Aretas barques assisted in rescuing the captain and his family and the crew. An official inquiry was unable to determine the cause of the fire. 30 July ketch Young E.B. was wrecked near Marino Rocks.

13 July three masted iron ship Star of Greece was wrecked off Port Willunga. Loaded with 16000 bags of wheat and bound for England, she sailed from Port Adelaide in fine weather. However a north-westerly gale arose, she was driven off course and ashore at Port Willunga. Eleven seamen lost their lives when the vessel broke up, or in attempting to swim ashore. Vessels which arrived were unable to help and delays in the arrival of the rocket gear did little to assist in the rescue. An inquiry found the ship had been inappropriately handled during the gale, but no action was taken as the captain was among the dead. Police Constable Tuohy from Willunga was honoured by both the Royal Humane Society and the South Australian government for his role in the rescue. The remains of the wreck are marked by a buoy, there is a plaque in the car park of the Star of Greece Café, and a marble obelisk marks the grave of the eleven seamen buried in the cemetery of the Aldinga Methodist (now Uniting) Church. As a result of this wreck, the South Australian naval vessel HMCS Protector was directed to oversee management and training of the volunteer life saving rocket apparatus and their crews and the lifeboat service.

1889

6 June SS Cowry was forced ashore at Normanville during a storm. 13 November Holt Hill 2441 ton barque was wrecked at St Paul's Island. There was one casualty.

Admella
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Admella Shipwreck Relief Fund
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Admella's passengers
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Barque Margit stranded
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Duncow, a near miss
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Kooringa meeting for the Admella Relief Fund
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List of subscriptions in the Admella Relief Fund
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Loch Sloy
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Melbourne Admella Fund
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Portland Maru
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Ship destroys lighthouse
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Star of Greece
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