Brunswick/Byron Ship Wrecks

Driven ashore and wrecked. Owned by G.W. Nicoll. (Karuah, Helen Nicoll and Coraki successfully got away.) 2 mast schooner rig

Year Day


1840 3Jul Whale Boat of Surveyor Robert Dixon, wrecked on the Brunswick bar. (His subsequent map shows Brunswick ‘only accessible for boats’) Surveying Brisbane to Richmond with combined land and sea party. Established camp site North Head Brunswick and allegedly surveyed inland for distance of 10 miles. Boat abandoned and crew eventually returned Brisbane with land party and horses.
1849 20Mar Louisa Schooner, 100tons Struck Brunswick bar while leaving with cedar. Stranded South spit and wrecked by gales before salvage completed. Captain Ellis. Owner Tebbutt.
1849 6May Swift Schooner, 45 tons Capsized off Byron and drifted to beach 3miles north of Brunswick. Enroute Sydney with cargo of tallow from Brisbane. John Boyd involved in rescue of owner Gee and passenger Brown after they had been stranded in upturned hull for 3 days.
1849 14May Lifeboat of 120 ton SchoonerHelen Lifeboat wrecked and 4 sailors drowned in attempting to cross Brunswick bar to render assistance to the Louisa. Severe storms during May49 caused other wrecks along the Tweed-Richmond coast, costing at least 22 lives.
1850 16Apr Clara Schooner, 50 tons Struck bar on way out Brunswick with cedar and wrecked on north side rocks. Capt Morgan. Salvaged by Coleson and rebadged as the Emma.
1864 8Aug Volunteer Schooner, 70 tons Capsized and driven ashore Cape Byron in gale. No survivors. Cargo of tallow washed up at ‘Tallow Beach’ and salvaged.
1866 8May Francis George Schooner, 53 tons Grounded on Brunswick bar and wrecked on North Head rocks. Capt E. Archdeacon. Rebirthed by Charles Jarrett. (At same time 60 ton Ketch Warlock had been bar bound for 4mths.)
1866 19Jul Brothers Schooner, 17 tons Bringing materials to repair Francis George. Grounded while entering Brunswick River and subsequently driven onto north rocks and wrecked.
1870 12Mar Francis George Schooner, 53 tons Foundered off Brunswick River entrance. Boat and crew never seen again. William Jenkins only identified member of crew.
1874 24Feb West Hartley 1 Schooner, 69 tons Wind failed entering Brunswick River and wrecked north rocks. Charles McNeil of Tintenbar owner. Captain Henry Bushell. Half insured £600. Centre board iron schooner.
1874 29Dec Miranda Barquentine, 350 tons Riding at anchor 1½ miles off Brunswick to take on cedar and driven ashore south of entrance in gale. R. Craig owner. Capt Charles Lakie.
1875 6Feb Centurion Schooner, 47 tons Struck bar and wrecked while entering Brunswick River . Owner-Skipper Capt William Owen.
1875 Nov Andrew Fenwick Schooner, 74 tons Capsized near Cape Byron. Ship and crew never seen again? Owner Tom Fenwick of Ballina. Also described as a brigantine. Built Tweed early 1875.
1876 14Jul Brilliant Brigantine, 140 tons Driven ashore at Byron Bay. Loading timber for James Callaghan. Captain owned boat and uninsured. Salvaged by Charles Jarrett.
1876 14Sep William Brigantine, 188 tons Driven ashore at Byron Bay. Had not yet started to load. Wreck sold Sydney ~7Oct76
1878 22Feb Star of the Sea Ketch, 60 tons Stood off Brunswick entrance for 3 days before attempting to enter. Wind failed and drifted onto south spit. Captain C. Mehan/Marr. Owner O’Dowd.
1879 4Mar Eva Maud Ketch, 54 tons Grounded on bar on way out of Bruns laden with cedar. Capt H. Barm (or Andrew Van Barm?). Owner J.G. Spears (or John Allan?)
1879 6Jun Titantia Schooner, 51 tons Wind shift on attempting to enter Brunswick River and wrecked North Rocks. Owner Harry Gardiner. Captain Peter Stevens.
1879 28Aug Inglis Brigantine, 99tons Loading timber off Brunswick, driven off anchorage and grounded Byron Bay. Captain Ward. Owners Stutterd & Byrne. Tasmanian registration.
1880 13Mar Nambucca Schooner, 55 tons Wind failed on leaving Bruns with cedar and drifted north rocks. Patrick Hogan owner.
1884 2May Brilliant Schooner, 140 tons Driven off anchorage 2 miles north of Bruns. Capt Philip Marsh
1886 Jul Jane Brigantine, 160 tons Loading timber off Tallow Beach and driven ashore in gale. Patrick Hogan owner.
1887 18Feb Dolphin Ketch, 70 tons Being towed out of Bruns by Tweed loaded with cedar and pine and struck north rocks. Capt Martin Fell. Owner R. Langley. Siskin in port same time. (6 days earlier 77ton Steamer Scout driven ashore near Byron jetty, but refloated 15Mar. Storms caused huge loss of sand Byron to Bruns. Mile of telegraph poles knocked out.)
1887 21Jul Reliance Schooner, 74 tons Foundered 10kms east of Bruns. Capt Henry Pearce. Owner J.M. Young
1887 12Aug Candidate Ketch, 86 tons Driven ashore Byron Bay. Rebuilt and refloated Oct87. Thomas Davis owner.
1887 28Dec Lizzie Frost Ketch, 52 tons Wrecked on Half-Tide Rock after striking Bruns bar on entering river. Heavy seas.
1889 17Jul Fawn Brigantine, 216 tons Driven off anchorage Byron Bay. Ready to load logs when seas turned mountainous. Complete wreck. Half of vessel found 8 miles north of Brunswick.
1889 17Jul Bannockburn Schooner, 111 tons Driven ashore Belongil after seeking shelter from storm. Complete wreck.
1889 17Jul Hastings Schooner, 88 tons Driven ashore Belongil after seeking shelter from storm. Complete wreck. Capt Andrew Von Barm.
1889 17Jul Spurwing Schooner, 90 tons Driven ashore Belongil after seeking shelter from storm. Complete wreck.
1889 17Jul Agnes Schooner, 80 tons On way to Brunswick and took shelter from storm. Driven ashore at The Terrace but salvaged by owner Alex Kethel who spent £1000 on repairs.
1889 17Jul unknown Portion of stern of unknown vessel found 6 miles north of Brunswick. The Jessie Matilda and Annie Moore wrecked south of Cape Byron.
1890 9Mar Agnes Schooner, 80 tons Foundered north of Bruns on way to Tweed. No survivors of crew of 8. Body of Capt Patrick Power and 2 others washed ashore and buried RC Bruns. Insured for £500.
1891 7Feb Annie Theresa Schooner, 64 tons Deliberately beached near jetty Byron Bay. Left Ballina for Tweed and sprang leak. Looked like could be salvaged and bought by Robert Marshall. But high seas caused break-up by mid Mar1891
1891 1May Annie C. Lynn Schooner, 54 tons Wrecked on North Head of Brunswick upon entering river after trip from Byron Bay. Regular trader Bruns-Syd. Was under charter of John Gollan and had done a few trips to Bruns, working up a good trade. Cash buyer of timber and other stuff. Owned by Robert G. Brillint/Breillat. Captain Cringle and White Cloud were in river at time.
1892 14Feb Endeavour Steamer, 115 tons(separately described as a wooden screw steamer of 78 tons) Grounded on bar entering Brunswick, lost control and wrecked north rocks. Regular steamer to Bruns owned by Kethel. Captain James Benson. 16th trip to Bruns in last 6mths and each time struck bar, as sand continually shifting and altering depth.
1893 23Jan Tweed Steamer, 185 tons(separately stated as steamer of 284 tons?)
1893 25Aug Cairo Steamer, 94 tons Being towed out of Brunswick by steamer Emma Pyers and line broke. Drifted north rocks and wrecked. Thomas Fenwick owner. (Had also struck south spit on entering)
1894 13Mar Tuggerah Cutter, 62 tons Broke moorings during storm and driven ashore near Byron Bay jetty.
1921 14May Wollongbar Steamer, 2005 tons Driven off Byron Bay jetty during gale