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.

19 January 2015

The steamer Tilba ashore – Wreck bay 1912

Water colour of the Uralla, renamed the Tilba attributed to  George Fredrick Junior (1857 – 1913)

The notorious area of coast known as Wreck Bay claims another vessel.
The Tilba, formally the “Uralla” A 200 ton, twin screwed steamer, built by Denis Sullivan at Coopernook N.S.W in 1908. She was renamed “Tilba” after it was sold to the South Coast Steam Navigation Company.

Commanded by Captain A. Bavistock she left Narooma at 4pm on a voyage between Narooma and Sydney carrying a load of timber, she ran into heavy weather while approaching Wreck Bay.

1.30am and running at full speed the Tilba went ashore on a shelving rock ledge on the Northern side of Wreck Bay, she struck heavily, the bottom was badly damaged, and a portion of the frames where on the rocks. She settled in the stern, with water in fact, being right up to the fore hatch.

The impact bought all hands on deck. The crew however was landed safely.

The S.S Hillmead, (also built at Jervis Bay) with a load of salvage gear on board steamed to where the Tilba was ashore,  but immediately left the scene and returned to Sydney.
She was later sold at auction for 300 pounds to Mr. Emerson of Messrs. Einerson Bros, of Balmain, who employed a number of men for salvage, they successfully removed the winches, anchors, chains, and a number of fittings.
with the engines still to be salvaged.
The hull of the vessel was in a hopeless position and became a total loss.
The story of the S.S. Hillmead’s desperate struggle – Continue reading.

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