Shipwrecks - Townsville

January 24, 2012

Dear Mac,

My net search for my 2x great uncle led me to your fabulous website, and I was hoping you may be able to point me in the right direction. 

My grandmother always spoke in hushed tones about my uncle Alexander Muirhead, saying "he was a bit of a lad".  He is said to have been shipwrecked off the coast of Townsville in the early 1900's, others say he was working the blackbirding trade, though I think that had stopped by that time.  I looked at your passenger/crew list for the SS
Yongala, and found nothing. I was wondering if there were any other wrecks, or shipping accidents off Townsville around that time? 

Thanks for your time,
Rose Wright.


My thanks for your kind words about AHOY, it is a joint effort with my web master Terry Kearns in Atlanta Georgia.
I do the research and writing whilst Terry keeps Ahoy ticking over, and puts up my scribblings. We are a good team.

In February 1893, the schooner Foam carrying 84 South Sea Islanders back to the Solomon Islands was wrecked on Myrmidon Reef near Townsville in Queensland. There were no survivors. Ninety years later in May 1982, the wreck was discovered in 6 metres of water. The Foam was one of over 100 vessels that operated in the late 19th century transporting approximately 60 000 South Sea Islanders to and from Queensland to work as labourers in establishing the sugar cane industry. Items like the armbands in the photo, have been found on the wreck and are helping archaeologists discover more about these vessels and the lives of those on board. Learn more about the South Sea Islanders at http://www.abc.net.au/pacificstories/

The only other wreck I could find near Townsville is:

In February 1893, this schooner was wrecked on Myrmidon Reef near Townsville in Queensland and discovered in 1982. One of over a hundred vessels used to transport 60,000 South Sea Islanders to work in Queensland's cane fields, all aboard the Foam died, included the 84 Islanders returning to the Solomon Islands.

Perhaps Alexander was involved with her.
Best wishes, 


See this URL:
For Queensland ship wrecks.


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