22a["The Recent Gale on the North-West Coast", The West Australian, Friday 03 March 1893, page 6]




News has been received that the severe storm on the Nor'-West, on the 25th ult., has resulted to serious damage to the pearling boats, Mr. G. H. Johnson, of the Commercial Union Insurance Company, has received the following telegram from Messrs. J. Clark and Co., Onslow:--McRae here from Gulf, states Gem and Emerald wrecked; also Erickson, Smuggler, Elisabeth, sunk and ashore and wrecked; altogether about fifteen luggers. About twenty men drowned, including two whites." Capt. Barter, of the schooner Flowerdale, which is attendant on the fleet of Messrs. Lilly, Holdsworth, and Barter, telegraphs that several luggers have been lost in Exmouth Gulf, while others are reported missing. Two are total wrecks, one is missing with all on board, while two others have been most seriously damaged, having lost their masts, gear, sails, and boats. Four others that had sailed for Portobello have not been reported, and no information regarding them is to hand. All Messrs. Lilly, Holdsworth, and Batter's luggers are insured in the New Zealand Insurance Company for 350 each, and they are valued at 500 each. Messrs. Symon Hubble and Co., of Fremantle, yesterday received the following telegram from Mr. W. J. Thompson, their North-West representative, who has just returned to Onslow from Exmouth Gulf:--

"Had terrible hurricane last Saturday. Three of McRae's luggers, two of Erikson's, and one of Banger's are total wrecks. Seven luggers have been driven ashore from anchorage, and five arrived dismasted. Four boats are still missing."

Capt. T. Smith, Inspector of Pearl Shell Fisheries, has shown us the following telegram received by him last evening from Onslow:--

"Capt.Biddles arrived here this morning, and reports hurricane Exmouth Gulf on the 25th February. Schooners Ivy, Flowerdale, Dawn, Annie, Sreepas, Sair, Cutty Sark, had narrow escapes, but rode safely through gale. No damage done. Luggers Cis, Empress, Vernona, Guinisvere, Sylvia all parted chains, and went ashore, but can be got afloat again. Comparatively little damage bas been done to them. The luggers Olive, Ruby and Mabel have been totally destroyed, and a number of other boats have been lost. Luggers have been since cruising about the Gulf and Islands in search of the missing boats, and have found the Mist dismasted and drifting helplessly about. The spars and dingies of the Agnes have been picked up lashed together, and the lugger containing Rudolph and Larsen, formerly employed on the schooner Meda, is supposed to have been lost. The following luggers are at present missing:--Lammeroo, Sea Queen, Smuggler, Gem, Emerald, Nellie, Florence, also the large cutter Florence. Luggers are still searching round the Gulf and islands for possible survivors or stranded boats. A number of luggers were at Monte Bello Ialands, but it is not yet known how they have fared. The estimated number of missing boats is fifty, not counting the large Florence; which had two whites and seventeen natives on board."

22b["The Storm at Exmouth Gulf", The West Australian, Saturday 04 March 1893, page 3]




[By Telegraph.]

(From Our Correspondent.)


The following details of a disastrous willy willy at Exmouth Gulf reached here from Onslow last evening. There was a heavy gale on the 25th ult. The barometer was down to 29.40. The wind came from the east round to the north, from which point it blew with hurricane force. The schooners Ivy, Flowerdale, Dawn, Harriet, [? Annesree], and Cutty Sark, lying off Tourbridge, had very heavy seas and wind, but rode safely through the gale. The luggers Cis, Empress, Verona, Guinevere, and Sylvia all parted their cables, and went ashore, but can be got afloat again. They are comparatively little damaged. The Olive, Mabel, and Ruby are totally destroyed. Numbers of the luggers have lost spars, anchors, and chains, and have got into the creek for refuge. The tide, at high water, was 15ft. above spring level. Immediately after and ever since the hurricane, luggers have been cruising about the Gulf and the islands looking for the missing luggers. They have found the Mist dismasted and drifting helplessly about. The spars and dingies of the Agnes were picked up lashed together, but the lugger, containing two whites, Rudolf and Larsen, is supposed to be lost. At present the missing luggers are the Lameroo, Sea Queen, Smuggler, Gem, Emerald, Nelly, Florence, and also a large cutter.

Further particulars of the disaster were received to-day. The luggers Nellie, Gem, and Emerald are total wrecks at Nor'-West Cape. The crews were ashore three days without food or water. The luggers Florence and Rose still missing, and also the cutter Florence Hadley Harvey, and the aboriginal divers. Nothing later has been heard about the Agnes and the Smuggler, but they are believed to have sunk in deep water, losing all hands except one, who was in water thirty six hours and was picked up by a passing lugger. The Lameroo and the Sea Queen were safe at the Ashburton River during the blow. The Fanny Thornton, and twelve luggers are at Montebello, from whence we have not had any tidings yet, but they are probably safe, as there are secure harbours there.