Shipwreck
Illustrative

ON THIS DAY: EMIGRANT SHIP BOUND FOR AUSTRALIA RAN AGROUND AT DUNNOSE HEAD 152 YEARS AGO

Shocked locals observed a large, full-rigged ship hit the rocks at Dunnose Head between Bonchurch and Luccombe shortly after 03:00 on the morning of 26th September 1871 – 152 years ago today.

The Underlee had left London 2 days earlier carrying 150 emigrants bound for Melbourne, Australia.

The following day, 2 tugs arrived beside the stricken vessel before carrying off the 15 female passengers and taking them to Portsmouth.

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It was hoped that the ship could be refloated on the high tide, but she was caught on the rocks and began to break up. Had the crew used the anchor, the loss of the ship could have been averted.

All day on the 27th, crowds from all parts of the Island gathered to view the spectacle. By this time, the shore had become littered with debris.

On the 28th, the remainder of the passengers were rescued by tug; on the 29th, the crew abandoned ship and were brought ashore by means of rocket apparatus deployed by the Coastguard.

The emigrants were temporarily housed at the residence of JS Henry MP, who charitably made it available for their use.

There was only 1 casualty – that of the chief steward – who was sadly washed overboard and drowned.

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Wolf
Wolf
6 months ago

Intresting story.Please post more up.

Mustapha al Banta
Mustapha al Banta
6 months ago

Plenty of British doctors emigrating to Australia at the moment.

Verity
Verity
6 months ago

Very interesting – but how is it that people were out and about at 3 a.m.? Good to know (It must have been very frightening)
only one casualty.

 

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