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Wreck of the ship ERIC THE RED, Cape Otway: Rescue of the crew by the DAWN

Date: 11 September 1880
Dimensions:
Overall: 281 x 286 mm
Medium: Ink on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Purchased with USA Bicentennial Gift funds
Classification:Art
Object Name: Engraving
Object No: 00008747

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    Description
    This engraving depicts the wrecking of the American ship ERIC THE RED. It shows the surviving crew clinging to the wreckage as the rescue vessel DAWN in the distance sets off a flare into the night sky.
    SignificanceThis engraving represents one of Victoria's major 19th century shipwrecks - the American vessel ERIC THE RED - and the rescuing of the survivors by the DAWN.
    HistoryThe three-masted wooden ship ERIC THE RED was built in Bath, Maine in 1871 and was owned by the Sewall family, operating mostly as a trade vessel between Europe and the USA. On 12 June 1880, ERIC THE RED left New York, commissioned by the American trade representative to carry a full cargo of American merchandise (including tinned fuel, tobacco, furniture, silverware, toys and musical instrument) and exhibits for the USA pavilion at the International Exhibition in Melbourne.

    Almost at the end of the journey, at 1am on 4 September ERIC THE RED hit Otway reef, and within twelve minutes all that was left was floating wreckage and cargo. Three of the 23 crew and one of the two passengers were killed. Luckily, the small steamer DAWN was nearby, and under the command of Captain Jones, lowered the ship's boats and rescued the survivors.

    Wreckage and cargo were scattered all over the Victorian coast including Point Franklin, Apollo Bay, Western Port, Port Campbell and Peterborough. Opportunistic salvagers used various wreck parts and timber to construct sheds, houses and even vessels. In appreciation and recognition for their efforts, the captain and crew of the DAWN later received rewards from the United States.
    Additional Titles

    Web title: Wreck of the ship ERIC THE RED, Cape Otway: Rescue of the crew by the DAWN

    Primary title: Wreck of the ship ERIC THE RED, Cape Otway: Rescue of the crew by the DAWN

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