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.

9 May 2017

H.M.S. Porpoise, Experiences in a hurricane off Jervis Bay.

1900 - HMS Porpoise returns to Jervis Bay badly damaged.

Porpoise was a Archer-class torpedo cruiser of the Royal Navy, she
had been at Jervis Bay for a week doing her quarterly big gun practice.  On completion she left the bay headed for New Zealand.

Friday 29th July 1900 -  Shortly after leaving Jervis Bay and still only a few miles off land she ran into a heavy gale,  which rapidly increased in intensity. The wind was blowing a hurricane and the seas mountainous.  The Porpoise rolled alarmingly when hove to,  and during one terrific lurch the starboard cutter was washed out of the falls,  and shortly after the port cutter was damaged by a heavy sea which broke over her quarter.

Saturday 30th  -  Throughout Saturday the gale raged with unabated fury and the vessel pitched terribly,  while heavy seas swept over her fore and aft.  The forward tackle on the port whale boat was carried away owing to the heavy strain, and although the boat was recovered it was greatly damaged through dashing against the ships side, t
he quarters of the officers and men were more or less flooded.
Sunday 31st - When the vessel was at last bought head to the wind and sea, she steamed back slowly to land, and on Sunday reached Jervis Bay again,  where she recieved orders to proceed to Sydney for repairs, before going to Tonga.

The officers reported the gale was the heaviest they had experienced during the Porpoise's commisson.


Built by J. & G. Thompson at Glasgow and launched on 7 May 1886. Commenced service on the Australia Station in December 1897. During the Samoan civil unrest in 1899, she took part in operations with HMS Royalist and HMS Tauranga. She left the Australia Station and was paid off at Portsmouth 20 May 1901.  She was sold at Bombay on 10 February 1905


No comments :

Post a Comment