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The Flinders papersletters and documents about the explorer Matthew Flinders (1774-1814)
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Papers relating to Flinders' Career (2 of 2) (FLI05) Page 1

April 25th 1804

Yesterday dispatches were received at the Admiralty
containing a confirmation of the capture of the Rattlesnake
sloop and the loƒs of the Porpoise on board of which Capt Flinders of
the Investigator was on a survey of the Islands contigous [sic] to New
South Wales.
The following particulars has been received relative to the
loƒs of the Cato and his Majesty's armed ship the Porpoiƒe
"The Porpoiƒe commanded by Lieut. Fowler
in company with the Cato, Captain Park and Bridgewater
were on their paƒ
age from New South Wales to China. On of August the Porpoise struck on a coral reef of rocks of August the Porpoise struck on a coral reef of rocks
201 miles to the North east of Sandy Cape and 795 miles from
Sidney [sic] Cove New South Wales in lat 22 deg. 11 min south long 155
deg. 35 min East. The waves running high the surf soon broke
over the ship and in a short time carried away her foremaƒt .
The situation of the ship soon rendered it absolutely neceƒsary to
cut away her other masts. The Cato was not able to avoid the
rocks, and struck soon after. The situation of the crew on board
the Cato was most diƒreƒsing. The violence of the waves soon carried
away the masts and she had not long struck before the sea broke
up her deck and carried almost every thing away. The only place
left for the crew was within the forechains to which they clung
in the most perilous state during the whole night. The sea was
running mountains high and expecting their deƒtruction
every instant. In the morning they perceived the Bridgewater
steering her courƒe aft to avoid the rocks, which ƒhe fortunately
did, and was lost sight of the next day. During the day Captain
Flinders, who lately commanded the Investigator, and who was a
paƒsenger on board the Porpoiƒe, with the aƒ
istance of Lieutenant in relieving the crew of the in relieving the crew of the
Cato, who were landed on a small sand bank at no great distance
soon after which the ship went to pieces. The crew of the Porpoise
likewise landed on the sand bank and several days were spent
in getting provisions and covering from the ship. The crews of
both ships succeeded in obtaining a supply of provisions
&c for about three months, and the tide falling
left them a large proportion of dry land. On the 26th of August
it was Agreed upon that Captain Flinders and Captain Park
should launch the six oared cutter that had been saved and steer
for New South Wales, in search of aƒsistance. They accordingly
rowed off from the sand bank on that day, and took with them
twelve men, and three weeks proviƒion. On their going off
the island, the colours which were hoiƒted union downward were
reversed, and their companions gave them three cheers. The of of

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Related people
Flinders, Matthew
Fowler, Robert
Park, (Captain)
King, Philip Gidley King

Wreck Reef
Sandy Cape


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Related Documents
Other documents written by The Admiralty

Other documents written in 1804