Some of the stories on Mapgrip

For centuries, the movement of people and goods across the globe have relied on ships and the seamanship of their captain and crew. Mapgrip has bought together the location, the images and the stories of the heroic, and often tragic events on our coastlines.

MAPGrip is only just beginning
On MAPGrip, scroll to Tasmania, Australia to see what is happening!


In 1872 the barque was transferred from Glasgow to Adelaide, South Australia, under the ownership of James Simson and various associates.The Otago´s chief claim to fame is that the vessel was the only command of the famous novelist Joseph Conrad.


Brier Holme

The Brier Holme was a British iron barque that had sailed from London for Tasmania on 21 July 1904. After a slow voyage Brier Holme closed the coast of Tasmania on 5 November. Unable to take observations on 5 November due to thick and foggy weather, the vessel was hove-to that evening. At some time between 10 pm and midnight there was a call for ‘all hands on deck,’ and the vessel slid over rocks, ran free, then ran heavily aground. The hull was soon full of water, and the mainmast fell just as the forecastle watch came on deck (the mizzen had gone previously), and they sought refuge in the foremast. The ship parted near the stern, which swung around to the south. The foremast collapsed and any remaining survivors, were thrown into the sea. Oscar Larsen was the only person to reach the rocky coast alive..


  • Vessel type: Iron barque, 62.8 x 10.2 x 5.8m, 928 net tonnage
  • Date lost: 5 November 1904
  • Casualties: 17 dead
  • Location

Lake Illawarra

Lake Illawarra was loaded with zinc concentrate, for the Electrolytic Zinc Company when it collided with pylon 19 of Hobart’s giant high concrete arch style Tasman Bridge. There was evening traffic on the bridge, and although no vehicles were on the section that fell, four cars drove off the gap and fell 45 m (150 feet).
Survivor Sylvia Manley..”As we approached, it was a foggy night…there was no lights on the bridge at the time. We just thought there was an accident. We slowed down to about 40 km/h and I’m peering out the window, desperately looking to see the car…what was happening on the bridge. We couldn’t see anything but we kept on travelling. The next thing, I said to Frank, “The bridge is gone!” And he just applied the brakes and we just sat there swinging”.


  • Vessel Type:Steel Handysize Bulk Carrier, 136 x 18 m, 7000 tonnes
  • Date Lost 5 January 1975
  • Casualtlies 7 crew men & 5 motorists

  • Lake Illawarra
  • Cars hanging over the abyss
  • A long 45 meter drop
  • Loch Ard SLV, 1878
  • Cpt George Gibb
  • Eva Carmichael, 18 years old at the time of the shipwreck
  • Tom Pearce

Loch Ard 1878

Loch Ard departed England on 1 March 1878, bound for Melbourne, commanded by Captain Gibb and with a crew of 17 men. It was carrying 54 passengers and assorted cargo. On 1 June, the ship was approaching Melbourne and expecting to sight land when it encountered heavy fog. Unable to see the Cape Otway lighthouse, the captain was unaware how close he was running to the coast. The fog lifted around 4am, revealing breakers and cliff faces. Captain Gibb quickly ordered sail to be set to come about and get clear of the coast, but they were unable to do so in time, and ran aground on a reef. The masts and rigging came crashing down, killing some people on deck and preventing the lifeboats from being launched effectively. The ship sank within 10 or 15 minutes of striking the reef.
The only two survivors of the wreck were Eva Carmichael, who survived by clinging to a spar for five hours, and Thomas (Tom) R. Pearce, an apprentice who clung to the overturned hull of a lifeboat. Tom Pearce came ashore first, then heard Eva’s shouts and went back into the ocean to rescue her..


  • Three-masted ship, 80 m long, 1700 tonne.
  • Date lost. 1 June 1878
  • Casualties 16 crew & 53 passengers

Leave a Comment