Forgotten Wrecks: bark Caroline (1850)

Another installment of “Forgotten Wrecks.” This article was originally published in Honolulu, Hawaii’s The Friend on April 1, 1850. It recounts an epic voyage and deadly shipwreck that has been more-or-less forgotten to history. [there is a brief mention of in this article.]

SHIPWRECK–The British bark Caroline, Capt. Perry, was wrecked on the reaf opposite the harbor of Honolulu, on Monday last.

The Caroline was 140 days from Adelaide, and 109 from Hobart Town, and had experienced a succession of adverse gales during the entire passage. She had a large number of passengers, including several families, and with the crew, numbered 102 souls on board. For 10 or 12 days they were entirely destitute of water, and were obliged to subsist upon porter, and provisions from the cargo, her stores having been also exhausted. She, however, touched at Kauai, a few days since, and procured a supply to enable her to reach this port.

On Monday morning, the 25th inst., she came to anchor off the mouth of the harbour, the wind then blowing on shore rom the S.E., and, as it has since proved, just the commencement of a gale of about 36 hour continuance. During the day on Monday, the wind continued to increase, and towards night the ship was pitching at a tremendous rage; and as it was deemed impossible for her to hold on during the night, the cables were slipped, her jibs hoisted, and the pilot, who was on board, ran her ashore in the best position he could scure. Soon after she struck, her main and fore-masts went by the board, which much relieved the ship, and she finally settled down, and remained from that time comparatively easy. When the main-mast went over the side, it took with it the mizen top-mast, and a part of the cross-trees fell on deck, striking and breaking the left arm of the surgeon of the ship, who was holding on by the mizen rigging. The next roll of the vessel carried away the fore-mast, and a seaman by the name of John Wilson, a Fin, was knocked over-board by a block and drowned. His body was found, and brought on shore on Tuesday. These are the only serious disasters to persons, attening this unfortunate wreck. The women and children were all landed on Monday, without accident; but about 30 persons remained on board over Monday night. Six boats were stove in, in endeavoring to take off passengers. On Tuesday, the wind was still increasing, with a tremendous sea, and although many attempts were made to board her with boats from the shipping in port, none could approach her.

In compliance with a request from Consul General Miller, to render such succor and aid, in saving the lives of the passengers and crew, as might be in his power, the Governor manned and despatched the largest canoes to be found; but they, too, were unable to board her, and the Governor’s own canoe was disabled and capsized, and some of the people were oblige to swim ashore.

The ship had seven feet water in her hold, and will probably hold together till her cargo can be got out, which consists, principally of lumber, flour and porter. A large part of her cargo will be ina damaged condition. — Polynesian.


1 Comment

Filed under Forgotten Wrecks, Shipwreck culture

One response to “Forgotten Wrecks: bark Caroline (1850)

  1. This is a great series. If you ever put them in print, I’d love a signed copy!

Leave a Reply

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

You are commenting using your 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