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palana view

A reminder of a perilous coastline...

The view south along Foochow Beach from the mouth of the North East River gives little indication of just what a dangerous coastline this is for shipping.

The name of the beach however bears testament to this. It remembers the wreck of the iron steamship the Foochow along the middle of the beach some 8km south from the rivermouth on 17 March 1877.

foo chow map

Luckily no lives were lost as conditions were fresh though hazy when the ship ran aground on the beach. This meant that both cargo and crew could be safely offloaded. The ship however was gripped by quicksand and subsequent salvage efforts could not move her off.

Three men were sent off on an exploring tour to see if help could be had from anyone on the island. They fell in with a kangaroo hunter who was able to take them across on a three day journey to Settlement Point on the west coast.

foochow map 2

From here a ketch was sent around to pick up most of the crew of 25. The chief officer and two others however stayed behind to look after the salvaged stores until they could be safely removed several weeks later.