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6 August 1859 Admella disaster

 6 August 1859 Admella disaster

Early on the morning of 8 August 1859 two dishevelled men arrived at the Cape Northumberland lighthouse to report that disaster had befallen the ship Admella two days earlier. On Saturday 6 August at about 5 am the ship had been driven on to rocks some 20 miles west of the Cape. Part of the stern section had remained intact and some of the passengers and crew managed to cling to this. A rescue party was sent out as soon as it could be organised and a boat came from as far away as Portland in Victoria to help.

The news reaching Adelaide was very scanty at first and it was not until 15 August that the whole drama unfolded and the Register was able to report that 80 lives had been lost, but 22 people had been saved from the wreck and those who managed to make it to the shore. The Admella, of 478 tons, had been commissioned in 1858 especially for the Adelaide to Melbourne run and her name derives from the two cities.

South Australian Register, 9-15 August 1859.

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