Coolangatta Shipwreck Print Page
A memorial sandstone obelisk and plaque dedicated to the ship Coolangatta which was shipwrecked after a severe cyclone in 1846.
|Address:||Musgrave Street , North Kirra , 4225|
|GPS Coordinates:||Lat: -28.166379|
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
|Actual Event STart Date:||19-August-1846|
|Actual Event End Date:||19-August-1846|
1846 COOLANGATTA SHIPWRECK SITE.
On the morning of Wednesday, 19th August 1846, the Coolangatta was torn from her anchors during a severe cyclone and ‘was driven ashore high and dry’ on to the beach adjacent to this memorial. The 88-ton vessel had been five weeks at anchor off Point Danger. Being unable to enter the Tweed due to silting of the bar and had been rafting cedar from Greenmount Beach. She had departed Brisbane on July 6th to load cedar bound for Sydney and was carrying two prisoners, George Craig, in irons, and William George Lewis. Several days before the storm fully developed, Captain Steele and his crew were ashore rafting timber.
When attempting to return to the ship, their small boat was severely damaged in the surf leaving them stranded on the beach. At this time five fully laden ships were bar-bound within the harbour at Tweed. Their crews “had undergone great privations. The whole of their provisions having been consumed for some time past”. As the cyclone intensified the ship was torn adrift, the prisoners freed, and all aboard “saved themselves by swimming through the surf at the imminent risk of their lives”...”The captain, crew and prisoners reached the pilot station at Amity Point on Stradboke Island having walked from Point Danger along the beach”. Fed nightly by friendly Aborigines, the journey of 70 miles took six days. In 1883 government surveyor Henry Schneider when sent to “plan a town at Point Danger” saw the wreck and named the adjacent “Coolangatta Creek” in field notes. It is believed that this naming was responsible for the name given to the new township when the first allotments were auctioned in 1884.