MARION 1851 - HER HISTORYShe departed from from Plymouth on March 24th, 1851 under the command of - Captain Kissock.
THE MARION'S PASSENGER LIST
According to official reports, as supplied by the Edithburgh Museum, The MARION went aground on Troubridge Shoal (off South Australia's coast) on July 29th 1851 near end of her voyage.
Unfortunately there was no light on Troubridge Shoal to warn of the danger and the shoal was not shown on the MARION's charts. Thus stranded, Captain Kissock, acting in an exemplary fashion as he had done throughout the journey, ordered out the long boats. With the coast of Yorke Peninsula only a few miles away, it was expected that the sailors would discharge their passengers and return to the ship for the remaining passengers and crew.
Alas, this was not to be - and so, it was more by good fortune than good management that all passengers and crew reached shore safely, some by long boat headed east instead of west with the sailors laying all night on their oars, waiting anxiously for dawn. At daylight, land was sighted and with the aid of a quilt and a sheet for sails they soon approached it. But, because of the huge breakers and rocky shoreline, they could not find an accessible point. At length, however, it became necessary to attempt to land but the boat capsized after her bows were stoved in when she hit the rocky bottom and a second sea drove her higher up on the rocks - no lives were lost. This appalling debarkation occurred about a mile from the boat harbour at Cape Jervis. Yet another boat had found its way to Yoho Bay near Rapid Bay, and it was from the three crewmen who manned this boat that the alarm was first given.
In the meantime, another group of emigrants and crew members with some of their luggage, after having been swept around the south coast of Yorke Peninsula, found shelter at a house on one of Mr Bowden's stations, and eventually made their way into Adelaide. Unfortunately Mrs Ann Johnson received bodily injuries when the dray she was on hit a rough piece of road and she was thrown off (she died within a few hours). An infant at her breast and her two other children miraculously escaped almost unhurt, though the babe, cared for by a fellow passenger, later died.
The remaining 150 passengers, including Captain Kissock, who were still on the MARION - where water was now within six inches of the main deck - were finally rescued when their plight was noticed by the small coasting schooner MAID-OF-THE-MILL, whose Captain promptly went to their aid. With their every need attended to by Captain Butler, this group arrived at Port Adelaide during Friday, 1st August.
SOUTH AUSTRALIAN REGISTER Adelaide: Friday, August 2, 1851|
WRECK OF THE SHIP “MARION” ON TROUBRIDGE SHOAL
Mr. Briggs spent the night in fruitless attempts to find it. He discovered the unfortunate people however early next morning. The party consisted of 9 women, 10 children, 3 sailors, and 2 male emigrants, and notwithstanding the exposure to which they had been subjected were not suffering to any great degree. Mr.Briggs having previously made arrangements for supplying them with provisions, started to bring the information to Adelaide, and rode the distance, about 63 miles, in 7½ hours: an instance of expedition which, under the circumstances, does him the greatest credit. On his way to town he learnt the fact that another boat with from 40 to 60 people had reached Cape Jervis. The information Mr. Briggs had acquired he communicated to the Police-station at Willunga, and to His Excellency immediately on his arrival in Adelaide: in consequence of which the Government schooner YATALA, with Captain Lipson on board, together with three other smaller vessels – the Venus, the Joseph Lee Archer, and the Phoebe – put to sea at daylight yesterday morning: one to proceed to Cape Jervis, and the others to the wreck. During the day, the MAID-OF-THE-MILL, a small coasting schooner, which happily had sighted the wreck and gone to their assistance, arrived at the Port, bringing the captain and 150 of the emigrants, with part of the luggage.
SOUTH AUSTRALIAN REGISTER Adelaide: Friday, August 2nd, 1851
The Government schooner YATALA, Captain Lipson R.N. arrived from Yorke’s Peninsula, with 90 emigrants from the MARION. At daylight on Friday morning, the Government schooner YATALA and the schooner VENUS were towed out by steam-tug. Captain Lipson very kindly permitted our Shipping Reporter to accompany him in the YATALA, and we thus obtained the following particulars:-
The Shoal was reached at 12 o’clock, and the MARION found deserted, but still upright. The rudder had been knocked away, and the water was nearly up to the main-decks. Whilst discussing the propriety of going over to Cape Jervis in the YATALA, with the expectation of finding some of the passengers there, a boat most opportunely arrived from Yorke’s Peninsula, bringing information that 200 of the emigrants were landed on that shore. The YATALA consequently proceeded to the Peninsula, after having expeditiously loaded the VENUS and FROLIC with as much of the emigrants’ luggage as could be got out. The YATALA, having been blown off the land in a squall anchored for the night about six miles from the spot where the emigrants had been located. Early on the following morning a landing was effected, and about 90 of the emigrants, with the luggage belonging to them, were found at a house of Mr. Bowden, near one of his stations. The emigrants and some of the crew were taken on board the YATALA and brought up to the Port. The mates and a boat’s crew were left behind to ensure the saving of as much luggage as possible.
On board the YATALA, liberal supplies of eatables and drinkables were served out,and on Saturday evening, when the arrival at Port Adelaide took place, the emigrants were kindly accommodated for the night in the spacious room in Mr. Newman’s iron store, lately used as a temporary church during the building of the new church of St.Paul. Our reporter concluded his narrative under the impression that about 50 emigrants chiefly women and children, were still unaccounted for, though believed to have reached Cape Jervis, to which point the YATALA sailed again on Saturday afternoon with the Captain of the MARION on board.
Following this disaster, numerous complaints were published in the SOUTH AUSTRALIAN REGISTER regarding the lack of warning lights surrounding the entrances to Port Adelaide, finally resulting in the following lighthouses being erected in the area: