Welcome to Tales from the Quarterdeck, a blog about events, people, and places in Australian maritime history.
- The Loss of the SS Cawarra: Bad luck or an avoidable tragedy?When, in 1866, the board of Inquiry into the Loss of the Steam Ship Cawarra handed down its report, it was met with some incredulity. For, after pouring over the evidence for six weeks, they could only conclude that the catastrophe was the result of bad luck. That was despite evidence presented to them that the steamer had been grosslyContinue reading “The Loss of the SS Cawarra: Bad luck or an avoidable tragedy?”
- The Cataraqui: Australia’s deadliest shipwreck – 1845.Australia’s deadliest civilian shipwreck occurred on 4 August 1845 when the 803-ton barque Cataraqui slammed into rocks near Fitzmaurice Bay off King Island during foul weather. On board were some 366 migrants and a crew of 43. Of those 409 people, only nine made it ashore alive. The Cataraqui sailed from Liverpool on 20 April carrying assisted migrants escaping povertyContinue reading “The Cataraqui: Australia’s deadliest shipwreck – 1845.”
- Surviving the Centaur sinking.On a quiet Saturday afternoon on 15 May 1943, the senior Royal Australian Naval officer in Brisbane received a message stating that a USN destroyer had picked up survivors from the Australian Hospital Ship (AHS) Centaur. This was the first anyone knew of the tragedy that had unfolded a short distance off the Queensland coast. Around 4 AM the previousContinue reading “Surviving the Centaur sinking.”
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