Maldon Lewis on rocks

Express and Telegraph (Adelaide, SA : 1867 - 1922), Monday 28 January 1889, page 2

Schooner Ashore at Point Morrison.

The Maldon Lewis on the Rocks.

News has been received in Adelaide that the schooner Maldon Lewis went ashore during the gale on Saturday evening on the rocks near Point Morrison, which forms the south cape of Nepean Bay, Kangaroo Island. The following telegram on the subject was received by the Postmaster-General on Sunday from the station master at QueenscIiffe:—"Messenger from Point Morrison brings word from master of Maldon Lewis, ketch, reporting his vessel ashore on rocks there. Hands were brought off safely by line and sling. Likely to be total wreck." The Maldon Lewis is a schooner of 52 tons, commanded by Captain Cock, and owned by Messrs. J. Darling & Son. She was usually employed in the conveyance of wheat from the outports to Port Adelaide, and on this occasion was bringing a cargo of grain from Spencer's Gulf, Point Morrison, according to Sawtell's Nautical Almanac, is a headland of moderate elevation, having a few straggling rocks a cable's length away. The coast between Ballast Head and Point Morrison is bold, and the water is deep within two cables' length of the beach.

Kingscote, January 28,

The schooner Maldon Lewis, owned by Messrs. J, Darling & Son, Captain Cox, master, went ashore at Point Morrison at about noon on Saturday during a stiff gale. The sea was very heavy, dragging both the vessel's anchors, and she drifted onto the rocks, the rudder being damaged. The extent of the injury done is not yet known, and the sea is still breaking over the boat. All hands were got safely ashore. The cap tain threw a line from the rigging, and Cap tain Debney, a settler living close by, who rendered all possible assistance, secured the line, and made it fast to the cliffs. The men got ashore along the line, receiving a few bumps and a ducking on the way. Captain Debney entertained the hands, providing all requirements.

The ketch Alert is here waiting orders to discharge, When the schooner is lightened she may be got off.

South Australian Weekly Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1881 - 1889), Saturday 2 February 1889, page 11

Kingscote, January 29.

The schooner Maldon Lewis is now afloat. She was got off the rocks at about 2 o'clock this morning. The damages sustained appear to be slight, and she set sail and started for Port Adelaide at 8 o'clock this morning with a favorable wind. The ketch Alert got within a safe distance early yesterday evening, and without delay commenced the work of lightening the Maldon Lewis of her cargo. After taking out 30 tons of coal, which was transferred to the Alert, they succeeded in getting the schooner afloat. Having a favorable breeze she may reach the Port early to-night. Captain Debney, of Point Morrison, and Captain Brown, late of tbe ketch Hawthorn, rendered valuable assistance, and Captain Cocks expressed his gratitude to them.

South Australian Weekly Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1881 - 1889), Saturday 16 February 1889, page 8


The Marine Board held an enquiry last week into the cause of the late grounding of the schooner Maldon Lewis at Point Morrison, There were present the chairman (Mr. J. Formby), Wardens Legoe, Smith, McCoy, and Neill, and the secretary (Mr. T. N. Stephens). Captain Cocks, master of the Maldon Lewis, stated that he held a master's certificate from the Board of Trade issued from Liverpool. Was bound from Port Adelaide to Port Pirie with a cargo of coals, and was endeavoring to beat up to Kingscote with the wind west-by north and a heavy sea on. Tacked when off Point Morrison, but the vessel missed stays. Let go the working anchor, and also the other, and the anchors held for a couple of hours, but the wind and sea rising the anchors lost their hold. When the anchors started to drag got a line ashore with Mr. Debney's assistance and made fast to a tree on the cliff. Then sent the men ashore, as the sea was breaking over the vessel, and was afraid she would break up, being an old craft. When he left the vessel at 1 p m. the rudder and a piece of the keel were knocked away, and there were about 2 feet of water in the hold. On the following Monday pumped and bailed her out, and found they could keep the vessel dry. Dis charged about 30 tons of cargo into the ketch Alert, got tbe vessel off on Tuesday morning at 1 a.m., and anchored until daylight, when a fine breeze from the south-east sprang up. He proceeded to Port Adelaide, which he reached the same night, having kept the pumps going the whole of the time.

Peter Johnson, who was at the wheel at the time of the accident, said he was an A.B. When they first tried to put the vessel round they were about one mile and a half from the coast with a very heavy sea on. They tried to bring her round twice, and at last had to let go the working anchor. As she was dragging the other anchor was let go, and the vessel held for two or three hours, and then drifted shore wards and finally struck.

Charles Carleson, A.B,, said the vessel was carrying all sails with the exception of top tails, and there was a heavy head sea on at the time. When she went aground they got a line eshore and landed till they received assistance from another ketch, which relieved them of a quantity of tbeir cargo, Morgan Jacobson corroborated.

After a short retirement the board found that the accident was caused through the vessel missing stays, and that the master was not to blame.