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The wreck of the NETHERBY

Date: 27 August 1866
Overall: 206 x 238 mm
Medium: Ink on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Engraving
Object No: 00003172

User Terms

    This work is a hand-coloured engraving of the wreck of the emigrant ship NETHERBY off the coast of King Island in Bass Strait in 1866. The engraving depicts the makeshift shelters and salvage operations that occupied the survivors' time after the shipwreck. It shows the rope from ship to shore which was used to ferry passengers to safety. A steam warship can be seen on the horizon, probably HMCS VICTORIA.
    SignificanceThis work highlights the peril of emigrating and the realities of surviving a wreck. More than a million people emigrated to the Australian colonies in the 19th century - fewer than 4,000 lost their lives in shipwrecks.
    HistoryThe NETHERBY, a 944-ton Black Ball Line sailing vessel built in 1858, was carrying over 400 passengers from Britain to Queensland when the captain elected to sail through Bass Strait instead of going south around Tasmania.

    On the night of Saturday 14 July 1866, the crew were unable establish their location due to a fog and the ship struck a rock on the south-western shore of King Island. All passengers and crew survived the wreck and were ferried to the island on Sunday 15 July. The next day some of the men set out to get help. They arrived at the Cape Wickham lighthouse at the northern end of the island on Thursday 19 July and borrowed a whale boat to get across to the mainland. They landed in a small bay and found a Victorian surveying party who gave them a horse and some money and soon after arrived in Melbourne on Saturday 21 July. The Victorian Government provided the steamer PHAROS and steam sloop HMCS VICTORIA to rescue the remaining survivors from King Island.

    This engraving featured in the Illustrated Sydney News, Volume 3 Number 27.
    Additional Titles

    Assigned title: The wreck of the NETHERBY

    Web title: The wreck of the NETHERBY

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