Earl of Southesk 1874

Earl of Southesk 1874

EARL OF SOUTHESK, barque : While attempting to enter Wellington Harbour on the afternoon of May 28, 1874, the barque struck heavily on the south end of Barretts Reef. A heavy sea broke over the vessel, filling the forecastle, and the fore and main masts went by the board. The master and crew, numbering twelve all told, embarked in the ship’s boat, and abandoned the wreck five minutes before she slipped off the rocks and sank in twelve fathoms of water. Next day large quantities of wreckage were observed floating in the vicinity of Pencarrow Head, indicating that the barque had broken up in the night.

The Court of Inquiry found that the barque was lost through an error of judgement on the part of the master in endeavouring to beat into harbour without a pilot, in weighing anchor before the southerly wind had fully set in, and, when getting under way, finding the wind baffling, he did not make a stern board or let go his anchor.

The Earl of Southesk, No. 25,179, was a barque of 336 tons register, built at Arbroath, Scotland, in 1858, and was under the command of Captain W. A. Frodsham. Her dimensions were : length 127.3 ft., beam 25 ft., depth 16.2 ft. She sailed from Newcastle on May 16 with a cargo of 478 tons of coal.

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