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.

6 April 2014

Mynora wrecked - on this day – April 6th 1864


         Steamers Headland looking north from St Georges Head, Steamers beach is inside the headland to the left.

Monday 4 April - The new wooden paddle steam ship the Mynora built for the Clyde, Moruya and Wollongong trade, cleared Sydney heads bound for Moruya where she arrived safely the following day.

Tuesday 5 April  - She set sail back to Sydney carrying cargo, crew and passengers that included 9 children, two ladies, two natives from India and one Chinaman.  Slowly easing her way north the Mynora became enveloped in a thick fog, unable to make out her position,  the captain was unaware that disaster lay dead ahead. 
Wednesday 6 April 1am - In what must have been a terrifying shock for all on board, the Mynora struck a small reef off St Georges Head. The master Captain Barter backed off the reef and continued his journey north, the Mynora was making water very fast. The Captain fought to keep her afloat but to save the lives of all on board the Master drove her on shore at a small beach 3 miles north of the reef, now known as Steamers Beach, where she became a total wreck.  While the boat was lost,  all of the passengers and crew on the Mynora were saved.

Looking south across the beautiful Steamers Beach where the Mynora was wrecked 150 year earlier.

Overland walk.

The women and children walked overland 5 miles to the Cape St George Lighthouse where they were kindly received and treated by Superintendant Mr Lee.
The rest of the crew stayed with the ship and saved a portion of the cargo.  When news of the disaster reached Greenwell point, Captain Sullivan of the S.S Hunter hearing of the misfortune started on the following morning to the scene of the disaster, and took off the male passages, then proceeded to the lighthouse station, Jervis Bay, where she took off the females, and left again for Sydney.

This was the second loss in a few months for the Illawarra Steamship Company,  unfortunately for the owners the Mynora, she was uninsured.

Ship Details.

Mynora name -  (the native name of the township on the Moruya River)
117 ton wooden paddle steamer
120ft x 17ft x 31ft deep
Built at Pyrmont in 1863 for the Illawarra Steam Navigation Company
who serviced the South Coast Trade from 1858 to the early 1950s.
By 1864 the company was operating a fleet of at least four ships


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