Verslag van de Australische overheid in krant.
Bron: Daily Southern Cross, Volume XXXI, Issue 5417, 2 January 1875, Page 2
Wreck of the barque BATAVIA.
The Rockhampton Bulletin of 1st December has the following: - The missionary cruiser ELLANGOWAN, from New Guinea, reported at Somerset on the 8th October that a barque was stranded on Stephen’s Island, and supplied mr. Aplin with the following extract from the Ellangowan’s log: - “Wednesday, September 23, 1874. Noon, abreast of Stephen’s Island, saw a barque high and dry, with sails loose, on the NE side of the reef, steered towards her, found her to all appearance abandoned. (Signed) J. Thurston, master.”
Mr. Aplin sent coxwain Powell in charge of the Government cutter LIZZIE JARDINE, to the wreck, and on his return to Somerset he furnished a report, from which we make the following extract: - “I took charge of the cutter LIZZIE JARDINE and left this port at midnight on October 8, and anchored for the night under Keet’s Island at 6 pm on the 9th., started at daylight on the 10th and reached the wreck at 8 a.m. Found her to be a large barque, called the BATAVIA of Alblasserdam, appearently of about 600 tons and loaded with coal. She is lying in such a position as makes me suppose that she has been stranded purposely. Apparently she has been leaking very extensively, as all, or nearly all of her wood ends have started, and there are signs of repairs having been attempted in that place, as the copper has been ripped offup and down the stem over the wood ends, and pieces of batten have been nailed thereon. Having boarded her I found that she had been completely gutted of everything in the shape of stores, with the exeption of some 14 tierces and casks of pork, most of which were new and bore the brand of “Playfair, Naval Purveyor, Sydney”, and from that I believe that place or Newcastle to have been her port of departure. The beef cask had been overhauled evidently by the islanders, and most of them had the bung stove in with some heavy iron tool.
I hauled the cutter close alongside in order to get some of the beef or any things of value that might be about and fetch them in here, but I found that she could not lie alongside with safety, and after knocking our main truck off I concluded to give up all idea of saving the beef and so on.
Upon closer examination I found that the whole of her sails had been cut from the yards, and even the jackstays drawn out of the topsailsand topgallant yards: and on deck and down below was one complete scene of destruction. Everything portable had been carried away and every article in the way of furniture, even to waterclosets, had been smashed with axes or tomahawks.
An immense quantity of butter and cheese was lying about, emptied out of kegs and tins, and quantities of green peas and beans were lying about the lower deck aft, damaged also.
I could not find any papers or documents of any kind to enable me to ascertain when she left her port, or when she came on the reef, nor any particulars of the vessel herself, other than her name and port being on the stern. I then went ashore to the chief, and he said she had been there four or five weeks ; that the people belonging to her had left her in their boats; that the captain had his wife and one or two children with him; that they had started away in a westerly direction; and that 10 or 12 vessels had passed down the north-east channel soon after their leaving the vessel.
I have little doubt but that they have been picked up by some of them. I saw some of the sails in the village and other things, such as cabin doors, empty tins, and bedding and most of the islanders had twill and canvas shirts and dugaree trousers; and I expect that they have a great amount of other things hidden away in the bush. As that was all the information I could procure about the ship or barque, I thought the next thing to do was to get back to Somerset. Accordingly I left the island at 3 pm, anchored again that night at Dalrymple Island, weighed at daylight on the 11th, anchored again that night under Middle Bourk Island, started again at daylight on the 12th, and arrived here at a quarter past 6 pm. Mr. E. L. Brown stopped on board the barque BATAVIA, with a view to saving anything it may possible to save, with one white man and two or three blacks. I brought about a dozen tins of butter away with me, as I knew the settlement to be out of meat; and would gladly have brought some of the beef, but it was impossible to put it on board the cutter without danger.