Daily Event for August 6

August 6, 1859 the Australian steamship Admella was wrecked on the reef north west of Cape Northumberland, Australia. Built by Laurence Hill & Co. Port Glasgow in 1857, she was 193' long with a beam of 24' displacing about 392 tons. A single screw, iron  hulled ship, she was built for the Adelaide-Melbourne-Lanceston trade route. On Aug. 5, 1859 she departed Adelaide enroute to Melbourne with 81 passengers and a crew of 28, she was carrying copper, flour and other merchandise. After a stop in Semaphore where four more people embarked she hit the reef, within fifteen minuets she was broken into three pieces.

The stern section which contained 93 tons of copper was held steady and many  people tried to reach it however, most of the women and children were caught on the bow section and would not attempt to cross. This was a tragic mistake for just hours later the fore section broke apart and crashed into the sea. Due to the rough seas rescue was very difficult. There were people still on the wreck on the 11th. It was not until a few days later the final survivors were removed. In all 89 people died in what was one of the worst wrecks in Australia to date.

© 2005 Michael W. Pocock