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.

4 July 2016

The plight of the mariner.

image    A typical Barque – a public domain image.

1875 the “good”  ship Indus.

Setting sail and leaving the safety of the harbour for the open sea must have been quite an amazing experience.  The early sailors had to have trust in many things,  the captain they would hope had the experience and knowledge to get them to their destination,  they would have to have faith in their vessel to be able to handle extremes in weather that could push the limits of man and equipment.

How bad a condition must a vessel be in to make sailors  refuse to go to sea.

January 12th 1875.
The Indus left Newcastle port laden with coal for Dunedin,  around Nobby’s Head she was becalmed and with no wind to drive her windmill the pumps failed to relieve her of the water now seeping through her hull, as a  consequence she returned to port for repairs.

January 13th 1875.
Four seamen off the Indus were sentenced by the courts to eight weeks jail with hard labour for refusing to go to sea , alledging she was unseaworthy.

February 20th.
News was received from Captain Mc’Coll that the “ Indus had gone down south of Jervis Bay,  all crew were saved”.

In this case the opinion of the crew members that refused to go to sea appears to have been justified.

As reported by the correspondent from the 1875 Newcastle Chronicle.
But the final word must go to the correspondent from the Morning Bulletin.





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