"Alert", Patrick Piggott & George BrooksPrint Page
A plaque commemorates Patrick Piggott and George Brooks, who drowned rescuing Chinese people from a flood, and those who lost their lives in the wreck of the steamer Alert, which both happened in December 1893.
The Alert was put to work moving cargo and passengers between Gippsland and Melbourne, a trip that saw it flirt regularly with the unforgiving strait between Victoria and Tasmania. It was this stretch that claimed the Alert on the night of December 28, 1893.
Returning from Bairnsdale, the crew encountered a heavy south-easterly that battered the ship, leaving it stricken off Cape Schanck. Fifteen people went down with the ship that night. Only one person, the ship's cook, Robert Ponting, survived, washed ashore near Sorrento Beach - some 15 kilometres away - after clinging to a cabin door for more than 16 hours.
|Address:||22 Service Street, Library, Bairnsdale, 3875|
|GPS Coordinates:||Lat: -37.825501|
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
|Actual Event STart Date:||28-December-1893|
|Approx. Event Start Date:|
|Actual Event End Date:||28-December-1893|
|Approx. Event End Date:|
AGED 35 YEARS
AGED 32 YEARS
Who were drowned while engaged in an heroic attempt to rescue Chinese from the flood in the Mitchell River at
Springvale near Bairnsdale
30th Dec 1893
CAPTAIN MATHESON And Officers and Crew of the S.S. ALERT.
Who lost their lives by the floundering of that vessel of Cape Schanck on the 28th Dec 1893.