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Broome, Nautical Assessor, states that in his view Captain Oppen had committed 'culpable carelessness' in neglecting to take soundings & in permitting the vessel to approach Dog Island, which is, per the sailing directions, 'to be approached with great care at night'. The webmaster has a few editions of Lloyd's Register available to him from 'Google' books, thru 1889/90 - see left. Ferret, a steamship engaged in the Port Adelaide-Spencer Gulf trade, saw Ethel & reported her situation to a nearby lighthouse keeper. One of her anchors is today exhibited on the cliffs above the beach. There were many ships named Ethel, indeed another vessel of the name was built at Sunderland by Pile.

The vessel would seem to have traded initially to India & later to Japan. Nilsen' chosen to change the name of the vessel or had sold it.

The vessel is not recorded in the 1882/83 edition, the next that I have, at least not as Thomas Wood, though it is quite possible that it was still listed there under another name had 'V. Per 1 (Board of Trade inquiry into the 1875 wreck, ex 'Accounts and Papers', published 1876, a 'Google' book).

A list of the Sunderland built vessels referenced in these pages is at the top of page 040. I read that Peter Austin (1)'s 'first registered launch was in 1831, a brig. Samuel Austin, I read, 'laid down a patent repair slipway, also two building berths .......' Just who is Samuel Austin? And probably other yards also, until the yard ran right up to the 'Scotia Engine Works' facilities. Hunter is in fact George Burton Hunter later Sir George B. Austin 'pontoon' which opened in 1903 (but City of Sunderland says in 1904). 2012, I saw that a stereo image of the pontoon was published by 'Realistic Travels', which company while based in London had offices around the world including one in Toronto, Canada. The name of the ship on the pontoon is, however, another matter! For service from Sunderland to Whitby in 1851/52, from London to the West Indies in 1852/53 & 1853/54, from Sunderland to the Mediterranean from 1854/55 thru 1859/60 & then for service as a Liverpool coaster. The Mercantile Navy Lists of 1861 thru 1876 list the vessel as registered at West Hartlepool ('WH'), certainly, from 1865 owned by Isaac Bedlington of WH. The vessel is Lloyd's Register listed from 1856/57 thru 1886/87 (as far as I have checked) and probably is listed after that edition. For a number of years was on the London to Australia route.

A list of the Sunderland shipbuilders referenced in these pages is a little lower on page 040. This was on ground called Nova Scotia, near Dame Dolly's rock.' Brian Dodds states, however, that not only was the site called Nova Scotia, additionally the shipyard itself was called 'Nova Scotia' & was at Sand Point, near Dame Dolly's Rock, which rock was so named as it was the viewpoint from which Dame Dorothy Williamson and her maids would gather to watch ships sailing out to sea. I read that in 1874 they started a branch yard with G. Hunter, who later went across to the Tyne to start Swan Hunter's yard. Hunter, famous for his leadership role in what became Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson, Ltd., of Wallsend-on-Tyne. In 1890 they expanded into shipbuilding premises previously owned by John Hutchinson which included two small graving docks. I suspect, however, that he was Chairman in relatively recent years (by that I mean the 1940s or 1950s), though exactly when it was I do not presently know. A 'webmaster modified' version of the e Bay image is next, available in a slightly larger size here. Next is a simply splendid image of the pontoon & yard in Jun. An even larger version of the image is available by clicking the image. Marwood's North of England Register of 1854 still records the vessel as registered at Sunderland & owned by Thos. LR of 1874/75 thru 1876/77, records the vessel as owned by 'Bedlington', while LR of 1876/77 notes that the vessel had been 'Wrecked'. 5, 1876, Mora, then owned by 'Isaac Bedlington and others' & registered at WH, with Henry Beane ('Beane') in command, left Hartlepool with a cargo of 308 tons of coal for Flemsburg, (Flensburg, Germany, I believe), with a crew of 6 all told. 16, 1876, the vessel sighted Ohlenborg Light, but the light was only occasionally visible as the weather at the time was thick & the wind was blowing hard. it struck Puttgarden Reef (off Puttgarden, Germany & Femern island). Per 1 (data, Birch Grove - 1872), 2 (converted into a lighter in 1888), 3 (Sir John Grice, 'John Grice & Co.'), 4 (towed out to sea in 1932).

A sign at the site today, shown here (& in the image strip above), in an Alan Collie image, advises us that the pontoon was towed half way around the world to a shipyard in Hong Kong a year or so after the 'Austin' ship building yard was closed. Now it is really not for the webmaster to criticise from afar re such matters, but the sign looks to my eye to be have been 'low budget' - a more distinguished sign, perhaps illustrating the pontoon, might better have been commissioned in the first place to commemorate such a significant part of the city's history.

Certainly the sign, in the summer of 2011, was in urgent need of repair or replacement. And in 1874/75 Lloyd's Register, the owner is recorded as being G. 13, 1875, the vessel, under the command of Alexander Oppen & with a crew of 13 all told, left Demerera, (South America, now Guyana) bound for London with a general cargo. And perhaps, if it is replaced, consideration might just be given to improving the wording? The 'pontoon' used to be located at bottom left of the image that follows, parallel of course to the river bank. The sign is affixed, I believe, to the railing that is visible at dock side. Of 'Austin' workers walking up to the bridge in the early 1950s. (Watson) Corder (1867/1953), whose lifetime work is now held in the Sunderland Central Library. There was, it would seem, another partnership, named 'S. A 300 foot graving dock, opened in 1870, took its place. Lim.' of Melbourne who were, per the Mercantile Navy List of 1930, (in the sail section) still the owner of Birch Grove. 12, 1932, the vessel was towed outside of Port Phillip (near to & S. The vessel did not sink, rather it went ashore at Nobbies, Phillip Island, & broke up.

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