"S. S. Admella"Print Page Print this page

The sculpture commemorates those who lost their lives in the wreck of the Admella in 1859. The sculpture is on the site of the former Mount Gambier Station which is part of the Admella Discovery Trail. The trail contains 21 maritime theme markers relating to the wreck within a 130km radius of Mount Gambier.

Mount Gambier Station was owned by David Power JP who assisted with the supervision of the shore parties and inquests of bodies found on the beach at the time of the wreck.

The wreck of the SS Admella in the early hours of 6 August 1859 was only the beginning of a horrific week for survivors who remained on board, in sight of land, while volunteers struggled to rescue them from the stricken steamer. The Admella was sailing from Adelaide to Melbourne when it struck Carpenters Reef. Within 15 minutes the ship broke up leaving passengers and crew clinging to the wreckage a mile from shore. Several early attempts to reach land were fruitless. Eventually 2 sailors struggled to shore and made a 20 mile trek to MacDonnell Lighthouse to raise the alarm. It was not until the third day after the wreck that people heard of the disaster.

Over the next few days, rescue attempts were made, but mountainous seas and severe storms continually drove the rescuers back. Survivors lashed themselves to rigging, their strength sapped by lack of water, food and shelter; some were driven mad by drinking sea water, others slipped quietly into the boiling surf to their watery graves. On day eight a lifeboat managed to crash through the surf and reach the wreck; three people were taken ashore safely. Shortly after, the lifeboat ‘Portland’ rescued the remaining nineteen survivors.

The loss of 89 lives makes the wreck one of the worst maritime disasters in Australia’s history.



Address:White Avenue, Tenison Woods College, Mount Gambier, 5290
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -37.828701
Long: 140.752412
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Sculpture
Monument Theme:Disaster
Artist:Greg Johns


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Thursday 6th August, 2009
Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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