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.

15 November 2017

S.S Tambo disabled off Jervis Bay 1895.

On this day - Friday 15 November 1895.

Friday 15 - S.S.Tambo in command of Captain Hipgrave left Sydney in the afternoon bound for Hobart, she carried general cargo and passengers which amounted to about 20 people including the captain and crew.

10.30 pm - While steaming past Jervis Bay her tail shaft broke and became completely disabled.


12.30 am - Her signals of distress were answered by the south bound S.S. Colac of the Adelaide Steam Ship Company which was luckilly steaming close by, dispite parting several lines,  towed the Tambo to a safe anchorage inside Jervis Bay.  The Jervis Bay lighthouse keeper sent a telegraph to the owners, Huddart, Parker, and Co., stating the information above.  The manager company immediately contacted the lighthouse keeper to gain further information.
The Colac stood by her all night then proceeded south to Melbourne.

Saturday 16 - The Tambo remained at safe anchorage until the following day.  A reply came back to the company that the steamer whilst being towed into the bay signalled, "want assistance". Several tugs were placed at the disposal of the company, but these were declined by the company until clearer information could be obtained. The company waited for a  reply from the captain, but the lighthouse keeper sent a message telling them the steamer was too far away to signal.

Monday 18 – The steamer Burrumbeet arrived in the bay to render assistance. She took the Tambo in tow and proceeded to Sydney against a fresh northeast wind which made the Burumbeets task a difficult one.

burrambeet steamer

Tuesday 1.30am – The Tambo gave a heavy lurch,  and the tow line snapped.  There was a nasty choppy sea at the time,  and both boats were knocked about,  a second line was put out,  and this also parted. The sail was set on the Tambo to keep her off the land,  while the Burrumbeet steamed at full speed to Sydney for fresh tow lines.


The tug Hero
– while this was all going on the tug Hero had left port to give assistance to the disabled steamer.

Tuesday 3.pm – Hero reached the Tambo and found her drifting south between Coalcliff and Bulli, securing a tow line she brought the Tambo safely back to the companies Margaret Street Wharf Sydney.


The passengers on being interviewed stated that they had no anxiety at any time.  When the shaft broke they all felt a heavy shock,  and immediately afterwards all called on deck by the captain. On reaching the deck they found all hands at the boats and the captain and officers were busy making distress signals. At the time the nature of the accident was unknown. Then an engineer came up and reported that the tail shaft had broken and that there was no danger.   The weather was fine, and the sea not to rough.  Captain Hipgrave had done all he could to make up for the misshap,  and the passengers were given a good time ashore at Jervis Bay inspecting the locality, while others engaged in Wallaby shooting.......( How things have changed! )

The passengers spoke in the highest terms of the behavior of Captain Hipgrave and the officers and men during the trying experience.


No comments :

Post a Comment