//
you're reading...
Australian History

December 1, 1876 – Aboriginal stockman Sam Isaacs and teenager Grace Bussell rescue about 40 people from a stricken steamship off Western Australia


Sam Isaacs

Sam Isaacs

The SS Georgette was a steamship built in 1872, which was sold in England to Western Australia, and used as a coastal trading and passenger service between Fremantle, Albany and Champion Bay.

On 1 December 1876, the Georgette sprang a leak 32km out to sea, whilst carrying fifty passengers and a cargo of jarrah wood.

The pumps failed to work, and despite passengers and crew bailing water non-stop, by 6pm the water had risen to put out the steamship’s fires, leaving the ship adrift.

A boatload of passengers was lowered into the sea but the lifeboat was smashed against the ship’s side and broken.

Some of the survivors were rescued by a second lifeboat, but twelve were killed. Each lifeboat that was released was swamped or capsized in the storm-driven seas.

As the stricken Georgette drifted into Calgardup Bay, it was seen by the Bussell family’s Aboriginal stockman, Sam Isaacs.

He and sixteen-year-old Grace Bussell raced down to the surf on horseback, and Grace then rode her horse into the bay until it was alongside one of the swamped lifeboats.

People clung to her and her horse as she returned to shore and landed them. One man was left on the boat, and Isaacs was sent to collect him.

Bussell and Isaacs continued their rescuing efforts, taking over four hours to land all the passengers.

For their acts of bravery and heroism, Grace was awarded the Royal Humane Society’s silver medal and Isaacs received a bronze. The wreck of the Georgette still lies about 90 metres off Calgardup Beach.

About Craig Hill

General Manager at Craig Hill Training Services * Get an Australian diploma by studying in your own country * Get an Australian diploma using your overseas study and work experience * Diplomas can be used for work or study in Australia and other countries. * For more information go to www.craighill.net

Discussion

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

writer@craighill.net

Join 1,672 other followers

An archive of all my old posts

Follow me on Twitter

  • RT @AustDems: "The Dutch government has resigned amid an escalating scandal over child benefits in which more than 20,000 families were wro… 2 hours ago
  • RT @ABC: THE GREATEST: Three-time heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali would have turned 79 today. A look back at his life and career:… 10 hours ago
  • RT @funder: In 72 hours when trump leaves office and Biden is sworn in, it’ll be one of the most celebrated moments in human history. 10 hours ago
  • Perhaps Trump could sell a book of all his deleted tweets to his 85 million former followers to raise money for his legal defence. 1 day ago
  • RT @allareblessed: NY Attorney General Letitia James has 67 indictments on trump ready to be unsealed on January 21, 2021. I love New Yor… 1 day ago

I also have a news site about China:

%d bloggers like this: