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Narrative of Shipwreck of the "Admella"
Melbourne: J.H. Moulines and Co. for the Committee of the 'Admella', November, 1859. Octavo, frontispiece and folding map; scattered foxing, yet a good sound copy in original blind blocked plum cloth with dramatic gilt vignette to front board bearing the slogan 'Hope to the Last.'. Only edition: the harrowing tale of the wreck of the steamship Admella, lost on the South Australian coast. This book was published by a committee appointed to collect funds and care for the survivors: it offers a detailed account of events as they unfolded, interspersed with firsthand testimonies of some of the survivors and their rescuers. 'In terms of human suffering, the wreck of the steamship Admella is ranked by historians as one of the worst in human history' writes Jack Loney in his sweeping account of the appalling disaster which claimed the life of 89 of the 113 passengers and crew. Before dawn on the 6 August 1859, the Admella ran aground on a reef near Cape Northumberland on the South Australian coast. The steamer sat uneasily on the crest before violently disintegrating into three sections, leaving the vast majority of the 19 women and 14 children aboard stranded in the bow section with only a handful of crew and male passengers. Only one female passenger survived the tragedy. An unusually violent ocean hindered escape attempts and stopped two passing vessels from recognising the perilous state of the Admella. Eventually desperate crewmen crafted a raft using a meat cleaver to chop wooden sections, eventually crossing the mile of treacherous ocean to shore and alerting the Cape Northumberland lighthouse-keeper. A remarkable series of rescue attempts unfolded as locals, fishermen and sailors from nearby vessels risked all to save the survivors whose numbers diminished daily from cold and exposure. It is remarkable testament to the grim determination of the rescuers that 24 souls were saved in this appalling disaster.
      [Bookseller: Hordern House Rare Books]
Last Found On: 2014-08-08           Check availability:      Biblio    


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