SHIPWRECK OF THE EMIGRANT SHIP "MARION".
In our last number we announced the loss of this fine vessel on Troubridge Shoal, and in part of one impression gave an account of the wreck and of the safe landing of the majority of the immigrants. The following are the full particulars of the whole transaction.
The Marion was a new ship of 919 tons, and was commanded by Captain McKissock. She sailed from Plymouth on the 24th March, with 350 emigrants, and entered the Gulf of St. Vincent on Tuesday last (July 29). About four o’clock in the evening she was beating up the Gulf against a head wind, at the rate of about four knots an hour; when she struck upon the outer reef of Troubridge Shoal. The lead had been kept constantly going, and only ten minutes before the vessel struck, it had been heaved without finding any bottom, and when fast stuck she had five fathoms astern. Every endeavour to get the ship off the shoal proving ineffectual and the water rising fast in the between decks the boats were got ready, and at nine in the evening about fifty of the women and children in the long boat and pinnace left the ship. Instead of making the nearest land, Yorke’s Peninsula, they sailed to the eastward, and did not reach the shore until late on Wednesday evening. One of the boats was capsized among the breakers, but the sailors managed to effect a landing without the loss of any life. To add to the misery of the poor creatures, two of them had only recently been confined and one of the infants, being of a weakly constitution, fell a victim to the inclemency of Wednesday night, exposed as they were to the fury of the elements, without either food, shelter or fire. Three of the seamen succeeded in making their way to Mr Burrows’ station, near Rapid Bay, and Mr Briggs, a gentleman residing there, went in search of the shipwrecked people, but did not succeed in finding them until the morning of Thursday. He immediately supplied them with food and gave directions to have them taken care of till his return from town, whither he at once proceeded, and had an interview with the Governor on Thursday night. His Excellency immediately communicated with the police, and men were despatched to the south. The Yatala, Venus, Joseph Lee Archer and Phoebe, proceeded to the wreck at daybreak on Friday, with the hope of saving life and property. The poor creatures at Rapid Bay, together with those in another boat who landed at Cape Jervis, received every kindness from the settlers of the south, and, under the escort of the police, they reached town on Tuesday evening. We regret to state that in a rough piece of road near the Stockyard Creek, Yankalilla, one of the drays upset, and a woman named Johnson received injuries which she survived but a few hours. She was taken to the residence of Mr Randell, J.P., where she received every attention, but in vain. An inquest was held on her the next day, before Mr Randell, and a verdict in accordance with the evidence returned. It is worthy of the remark that an infant at her breast and two other children who were riding with her in the dray escaped unhurt.
To return to the wreck. The immigrants passed the night in the greatest discomfort, but soon after daybreak an oyster boat came alongside and took off at three different trips about 150 persons, and in the afternoon the small ketch the Maid of the Mill bore down, and took off the remainder of the passengers, including the captain. She arrived in the port on Friday morning about eight o’clock. When the Yatala reached the ship she found her deserted and full of water, but still upright. The rudder had been removed and the water increased up to the main deck. A boat shortly afterwards came alongside with the information that a large number of the people were on Yorke’s peninsula, at Mr Bowden’s station, and the Yatala took them up to the Port, reaching there on Saturday evening. The small vessels took off what luggage could be saved, and an officer in charge of a boat’s crew stayed behind to look after any of the property which might be recovered. It was, however, feared that little could be done. On their arrival at the Port they were accommodated for the night in the large iron store, and in the morning came up to town, where they occupied the Police Barracks on the Park Lands. During Sunday, his Excellency and Lady Young visited them, and saw that they were well supplied with food and bedding. Cont...
During the passage six were born, and nine died. This wreck has again directed public attention to the dangers of the Troubridge Shoal... Austral Examiner, 8 August 1851.