On this day: a wreck in Australia

The clipper Hereward wrecked on Maroubra Beach, south of Sydney, on the 7th of May, 1898. This photograph of the scene was taken by Arthur Wigram Allen, lawyer and enthusiastic amateur photographer.


the clipper Hereward wrecked on Maroubra Beach, South of Sydney on 7 May 1898. Arthur Allen photographer.

On this day: the MV Plassy wrecks


In 1962

The Irish steam trawler MV Plassy hit severe weather and ran onto Finnis Rock, Inisheer in the Aran Islands on the 8th of March, 1960.

She was carrying whiskey, yarn and stained glass at the time.

Shortly after the storm that caused the wreck, a second storm drove the trawler all the way up onto land, where she still is.

Today, the Plassy is a tourist attraction.

On this day: the sinking of the SS Norge

SS Norge was a Danish passenger liner sailing from Copenhagen, Kristiania and Kristiansand to New York, mainly with emigrants, which sank off Rockall in 1904.

SS Norge in the late nineteenth century. X

On the 28th of June, 1904 Danish passenger liner SS Norge ran aground near Rockall in the North Atlantic Ocean and sank.

Rockall is an uninhabited granite islet within the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the United Kingdom.

Over 635 people died, with the highest number of victims coming from Norway.

The liner sank twelve minutes after the accident, pulling many who had tried to jump to safety underwater with it, and drowning them.

Herman Wildenvey (20 July 1885 – 27 September 1959), born Herman Theodor Portaas, was one of the most prominent Norwegian poets of the twentieth century.

Herman Wildenvey

Those who survived were saved by British and German ships. One of the survivors was Norwegian poet Herman Wildenvey.

On this day: the Cataraqui sank in 1845

Cataraqui_wreck.The 4th of August, 1845 was the date of the deadliest ship sinking in Australia’s history. The British barque Cataraqui

The Wreck

The 4th of August, 1845 was the date of the deadliest ship sinking in Australia’s history.

The British barque Cataraqui (also known as Cataraque) was cast onto jagged rocks and sank off the south-west coast of Bass Strait.

The ship had departed from Liverpool, England and was heading to Melbourne, Australia with 410 people (369 emigrants and 41 crew) on board. 400 people died in the sinking.

Before the sinking one crew member had already been lost overboard, five babies had been born and six others had died.

After the sinking, eight crew members survived by clinging to wreckage and one passenger, a man named Solomon Brown also survived.

The nine survivors were stranded on King Island for five weeks until being rescued.

On this day: the HMS Orpheus sinks

HMS Orpheus, the flagship of the Royal Navy’s Australian squadron sank off the coast of New Zealand on the 7th of February, 1863.

The wreck of the Orpheus by Richard Boydges Beechey

HMS Orpheus, the flagship of the Royal Navy’s Australia squadron sank off the coast of New Zealand on the 7th of February, 1863. 189 people died. 70 survived.

Though an attempt was made to abandon ship, the water surge was too strong, and many were swept away. The wreck occurred near Auckland.

The average age of the crew was only twenty-five, as those who lost their lives included boys between twelve and eighteen years of age.

Thayer Fairburn’s book, The Orpheus Disaster, describes the wrecking in great detail. ‘By 5.30 the guns were beginning to break loose and plunge about as the ship still wallowed and quantities of wreckage were drifting down wind. Ropes hung in festoons from aloft, swinging pendulum-wise with the weight of the blocks still attached, and masses of cordage washed back and forth in inextricable tangles and hung by the side of the ship, streaming down to leeward with every bursting wave.

About six o’clock, Commodore Burnett hailed the crew and addressed them: ‘Every one of you is to say his prayers and look out for himself. I will be the last. The Lord have mercy on us all.’ By about eight o’clock the guns had finally broken loose and the deck began breaking up. Around 8.30 pm the mainmast went by the board, and fell to port, taking the foretopmast and mizentopmast with it. The mainmast, falling, carried with it Commander Burton, Mr Strong the Sailing Master, Midshipman Broughton and Hunt, and about 50 hands.’