Maritime misadventures in the Straits.

pictorial of several well-known and dramatic wrecks in the Furneaux Group

17 March 1877 City of Foo Choo. Sailing from Newcastle and Sydney heading to Calcutta via Bass Strait when she ran aground on the East Coast of Flinders. All on board survived.

10 March 1912 The Fursund was fifty-nine days out from Buenos Aires when driven by a gale through the famous Pot Boil onto Vansittart Shoals. All that remains is a rusty skeleton of her former self.

8 August 1912 The G W Wolfe bound from Buenos Aires in ballast for Newcastle and wrecked on Prime Seal Island. The article states wrecked on Hummock Island which is Prime Seal. October 10 Insert 2




The 1920’s The  M.V. Linda struck a rock of Little Dog Island, which is just across from Big Dog Island……. where she was built by Henry Taylor 1887.

1 June 1930  The Joseph Sims. On her way from Melbourne to St.Helens when she grounded on the rocky islets south of Prime Seal Island. She was salvaged by the Holloway’s.

13 December 1938 The E.H. Purdon  beached at Sellers Point across from Babel Island.

Finding the Wolfe in the Weekly Courier was an eye opener I had no idea she was so big and the article describes the noise during the crash.

In the 1970’s our family went across to Prime Seal to look at what was left of the Wolfe, pre the RAAF coming in to airlift the remains of the anchor. Finding the article about how it all transpired and the seeing the size of the ship, I have decided the Wolfe was probably more spectacular than the Farsund.

1912: The world had the Titanic in April and Flinders………… the Farsund and Wolfe, also the opening of the Interstate Hotel.

One thing for sure is the Robinson/Holt and Briant ancestors would have visited the sites of the wrecks (apart from the Foo Choo – although the Holt lads were in the Straits so maybe) along with the rest of the lads from Cape Barren and Flinders. A shipwreck in the early days would have been big news and a crowd drawer as seen in the photo of the Wolfe. 

Maritime Museum of Tasmania


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