|Loss of the Frances Walker, and Sultana
The Frances Walker, barque, 393 tons, Captain Hay, sailed hence September 13th for Manila, having on board Mrs. Hay and two daughters, Miss Sherlock, and Dr. Campbell, passengers, in company with the Sultana, barque, 230 tone, Captain C. M. Rimmer. On the 25th September, they both struck on the Great Barrier Reef, westward of the Great Detached Reef, and north of Steud's Passage, and became total wrecks. All hands were saved, and proceeded in the boats through the Straits, and made Cairn Cross Island, where Mrs. Hay was safely delivered of a son ; from thence they made Booby Island, where they left part of the crew of the Sultana, at their own request, who would not venture any further in open boats ; the remainder ultimately reached Copang in safety. The Sultana's boats were picked up by the American ship Chilo, and were landed at Manila. Dr. Campbell also proceeded by her, and will return to Sydney in the Sea Bird. The Sultana was the property of Mr. Corcoran, of this city, and was only partially insured.
Extract of a letter, dated Manila, 19th December, 1854, received by Mr. L. Corcoran the owner, from Captain Rimmer of the Sultana, respecting her loss :
" On the 12th night after leaving Sydney, the Sultana, Frances Walker, and two other vessels were wrecked on the Barrier Reef. Captain Hay and I being only a few mules from each other, started in the boats, called at Booby Island and Port Essington, but no assistance ; then we started for Timor, and after 32 days in the boats on salt bread and a very small quantity of water, we were picked up in the Timor Sea, by the Chilo, of Boston, whose Captain very kindly offered us a passage here, and as I the thought it would be the quickest way of getting home I took it ; we were then only 80 miles from Copang, so Captain Hay, family, and the remainder of his crew went on there, after getting some good provisions from the Chilo, in hopes of getting a Dutch ship to London or the Continent. When Captain Hay left us, they were all in good health considering our long exposure in the boats. Mrs. Hay was delivered of a boy, on a sand bank in Torres Straits. Mr. Hutchins, Mr. Berry and one man, are all that were left of my gang, and I dont think the man will come out of the hospital alive; I am getting all right again, thank God ; Dr. Campbell from Tarban Creek, left Captain Hay and came into my boat, and is going passenger in the Sea Bird to Sydney."
SG & SGTL Vol 12 ; Page 55 ; 12 Mar 1855
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