HOME OF THE LADY DENMAN - Local history isn't always about the big story - the everyday story of life in the early development of the region can be a fascinating, entertaining and educational journey.

31 January 2014

The s.s.Dove – the last voyage

Since we have so many sailors visiting the bay at the moment I thought you may like to see what happened to one of the many boats built in Huskisson in the 1800’s

the dove
Many fine ships were built by the Dent and Setree families in Huskisson, and all of those ships have a story to tell.

Here is the story of the demise of the s.s. Dove.

Navigating the Australian Coastline was fraught with hazards.
Many ships were lost at sea and many of the ships built at Huskisson by the Dent and Setree families met their end during wild coastal storms or by running aground on uncharted reefs.

The Dove similar to this ship "Reliance" built by the Dent Family in Huskisson in 1883 came to grief during a voyage from Cairns on the 30th June, 1897, with three tons of general cargo, and three passengers, bound for Bloomfield River in northern Queensland. Passing Cape Tribulation at 4 a.m. on the 1st July in a strong SE wind and heavy sea the Captain could not correctly ascertain his position, the land being obscured, he waited until daylight to enter the river.

5.15am the Dove took to a coral reef not shown on the charts and after attempts to haul her off, her rudder and stern post were carried away making the vessel unmanageable.

The captain took the best means of saving the ship and cargo, by running her into shoal water, further inshore, where the bottom was sand.

The enquiry concluded.
We consider that owing to the thick weather the master miscalculated his distance from Cape Tribulation, therefore, was drifted closer to the shore than was advisable; at the same time if the chart had been correct, the vessel would not have been lost.

We consider that under the circumstances no blame is attributable to the master for the loss of his ship.
the last voyage and wreck site.

Do you have any old pictures of ships built in Jervis Bay?? If you do the Museum would be vey interested in seeing them contact me here….. yourcontributions@gmail.com

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