The Little Coastal Steamer That Tried and Tried Again

Filed under Yesteryear ~ by Throsby on  14 Jul 2019

Never get between a tabloid newspaper and an opportunity to dramatise.

Breathless, The Sydney Sun alarmed its readers (yet, disturbingly, they also sensed excitement rising within) with a same-day report (the tabloids usually printed later in the day for evening sales) of drama and heroism from the sleepy waters of an upstream township… Clarencetown.


Boambee Sinks At Moorings
Four Men Caught In Bunks

NEWCASTLE, Saturday. 21 April, 1934

FOUR members of the crew of the well-known coastal steamer, Boambee had an almost miraculous escape from drowning when the vessel sank in 20 feet of water in the Williams River, near Clarencetown early to-day.

Awakened by the noise of falling machinery, as the vessel rolled on Its side before settling down, the seamen sprang from their bunks to find water pouring down the companion-way leading to the deck.

Attempting to force their way against the wall of water, they were swept off their feet and

pinned against the opposite wall of the forecastle. It was not until the water was shoulder-high in their sleeping quarters. and only the bulwarks and the bridge of the vessel were showing above the water, that they were able to force their way out.

The hero of the rescue was a Carrington youth, Jack Hill, who is employed as deck-boy and temporary cook.

Trapped in Cabin One of the first to leave the forecastle, he with two other seamen, had scrambled along the bulwarks, and was huddled on the bows, when he realised that one of the men was still trapped below. Making his wav to the companionway, he dived into the completely dark cabin to assist the remaining sailor, who was still struggling against the force of the water, to safety.”

Etcetera, etcetera…

Read the ful story of Boambee, aka Illalong, on this page.

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