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.

29 November 2016

Captain Bishop

Interestingly in the previous post about the loss of the Bega Captain Bishop when asked about why the Bega sank , he had no explanation and used his survival of the Maitland and Nemesis gales to illustrate how robust the S.S Bega was.  During all my research I had never come across mention of these gales before, so after a bit of looking I can now understand why these two gales were mentioned by Captain Bishop and used as an example of the Bega's seaworthiness.


The Maitland Gale.
Was named after the 70 metre paddle steamer S.S Maitland was wrecked near the entrance to Broken Bay, on Sydney’s doorstep, it remains one of the worst maritime disasters in NSW history.
27 people lost their lives after the ship was thrown onto rocks and torn apart.
The story of the Maitland is an epic, but tragic tale, it has accounts of bravery, sacrifice, hardship, disorder and drunkenness and well worth your effort to investigate.
The gale claimed a number of other ships that night.


ss NemisisThe Nemisis Gale.
The 73 metre long, 1,393 gross tonnage, iron screwed steamship  S.S. Nemisis  disappeared during a terrific southerly gale on the 9th of July 1904 taking 32 officers and men with her,  The gale increased in fury until it attained the force of a severe hurricane, any ship caught in such conditions and survive had luck on their side.
She was passed off Wollongong,   "battling brave with the terrific storm."   Authorities became aware of the tragedy  when large amounts of wreckage washed up onto Cronulla Beach.  The vessel was presumed to have gone down in that general location. No bodies were ever found.
The remains were discovered off Cape Baily lighthouse by divers on the 25th March following up on reports by fishermen who for years had known there was something there.


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