Wednesday, 24 August 2016


The Mercury (Hobart) Friday 7 August, 1891.

Intelligence has been received by cable
that the steamer Wallarah, which left London
for Sydney on July 9, has been totally
wrecked on Dassen Island, Cape Colony.
The steamship Wallarah was a new vessel,
and on her first voyage. She was one of three
new steamships built for Mr. W. Lund, of
London, for his well-known Blue Anchor
line. These were to be of larger tonnage, and
have more steampower than any of the others
in the same fleet, and were to be superior
vessels in every way. The Wallarah was the
first to be completed, and she was under
the command of Captain F. H. Ekins.
The Wallarah was a steel screw steamship of
nearly 4,000 tons, and was intended to carry
a large cargo. She was launched on April 23
from the yard of the Sunderland Shipbuilding 
Company. Her dimensions were as follows:-
Length, 360ft. between perpendiculars; 
beam, 43ft 45in.; and depth of hold, 26ft. 1 in., 
or 29ft. moulded. The bridge deck
amidships was 98ft. in length, and in the
alleyways underneath were the officers'
quarters, lockers, etc. The Wallarah was
furnished with triple expansion engines,
built and set up in her by Messrs. Wigham,
Richardson, and Co., of Newcastle-on-Tyne.
The-high-pressed cylinder was 28in. in diameter, 
the medium-pressed 45in.,and the low
pressed 73in., the piston stroke being 54in.
Steam was generated in two same double
ended steel boilers, working at a pressure of
1601b. The engines were 500 h.p. nominal, or
over 3,000 h.p. effective (ihp). They were said to
be of first-class workmanship, and equal to
driving the Wallarah at 12-knot speed on a
very moderate consumption of coal. All the
steamships of this line are kept quite up to
the mark with regard to appearance, and the
Wallarah had special attention given to her
equipment. She was registered on the
highest class at Lloyd's 100 A1. The Wallarah
was consigned to Messrs. John Sanderson
and Co., and carried a very valuable cargo
Fix this textfor Adelaide, Melbourne, and Sydney.

The Advertiser (Adelaide) Thursday 20 August, 1891.

Heavy Losses.
[By Telegraph.]
Sydney, August 19.
It has been ascertained that the
steamer Wallarah, wrecked in the early
part of the month near Cape Town, had
on board between 1,000 and 2,000 tons of
cargo for Sydney. The insurances on
this are stated on good authority to
amount to between £40,000 and £60,000.
Fix this textall the local offices being interested.
As a result of this incident - no loss of life - a lighthouse was erected on Dassen Island.

The Sydney Morning Herald, Monday 12 October, 1891.

As two large steamers, bound to Sydney - the Ashleigh
Brook and the Wallarah- have come to grief on Dassen
Island, the Government notice published at Capetown, as
follows, is of interest to underwriters -"It is hereby
notified that a light tower is about to be erected on the
Southern end of Dassen Island to be hereafter called Dassen
Island Lighthouse. The tower will be a cylindrical iron
structure 80ft high, with quarters detached about
60 yards eastwards. It will be situated in lat 33.2
south, and longitude 16 degrees 6 minutes 20 seconds 
east of Greenwich. It is intended to dtsplay a first order 
white group flash light (to be hereafter described), with focal
plane 150ft above the level of low water The light will be
visible in clear weather about 20 miles but the flashes will
be seen at a much greater distance. The nearest existing
light is that on Robben Island about 26 miles magnetic
south. This will be the first loading light vísible to vessels
making Table Bay from the north-west. The tower will
probably be ready for the reception of tho lenticular about
July, 1892 and the light may be exhibited about September,
1892, of which due and precise notice will be given.

sister ship Yarrawonga (1891 - 4000 tons) - similar to Wallarah.

Dassen Island, 1908

survivors made their way to Malmesbury by cart.

For a complete overview of Blue Anchor Line vessels, see:

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