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.

22 February 2014

On this Day Feb 21st 1932

northern firth image 2 The steamer the Northern Firth wrecked on Brush Island Ulladulla.
1,954 tons gross,
Builders James Patrick and Co. LTD. 1922.

Another small coastal steamers life came to an abrupt end when it ran aground on the eastern side of Brush Island south of Ulladulla on the afternoon of the 21st February 1932.

She was bought from England  to work the Melbourne to Sydney cargo trade.

Captain  Macdonald was asleep at the time with second mate with 14 years experience William Charles Goulding in charge.

ss-northern-firth A hole was torn in her side and the engine room quickly filled with water. Strong North East winds drove her hard aground.

The captain ordered the crew to abandon her with all the crew getting to shore safely.

A guard had to be placed at the wreck site to stop the pilfering of the cargo of Shoes, clothing and liquor.

1 March 1932 a fair bit of cargo had been salvaged. This included drums of glycerine and white spirit, barrels of syrup used in the manufacture of confectionery, barrels of beer and cases of "spirituous liquor".

Breaking up.
By March the 9th 1932 the hull was split and water was entering the holds, all salvage was abandoned as the vessel was rapidly breaking up.

northern firth A Court of Marine Inquiry was held in Sydney on 14, 15 and 16 March 1932 before John William Malcolm Laidlaw, Chief Stipendary Magistrate of New South Wales. He was assisted by Captains M.M. (?) Osborne and C.B. Mercer. The Director of Navigation, Captain J. Davis, preferred a charge of failure of duty against William Charles Golding, Second Mate. On Wednesday 16 March 1932 the Marine Court found that the charge was not sustained as the ship had hit a submerged object that was not recorded on the Admiralty Chart.

northern firth image
Wreck Information
Dive opportunities.
Picture courtesy of Ulladulla divers.

I dived this wreck in 1979, very little remained even back then…It’s in a very exposed location and subject to considerable pounding by any sea, it was mostly small pieces of rusted steel and ballast..
We missed seeing the boiler which is described as a large open cylinder without ends that you can swim through.

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