Amazon - a brief history

Amazon would have appeared much like this illustration from Paasch's Illustrated Marine Dictionary by Captain H Paasch 1885

Amazon was built at St Helier shipyards on the Island of Jersey, one of the Channel Islands, in 1855.

Amazon travelled the world for 8 years with cargoes of flour, sugar and coal and carried salted meat and other provisions for the crew.

In December 1863 the Amazon departed Port Phillip for Mauritius.  Near Apollo Bay at Cape Otway, Captain Ogier claimed the crew encountered a fierce storm, a hurricane which blew the Amazon eastwards.  The Captain tried to re-enter Port Phillip to no avail and the ship was blown further east to Inverloch where it was damaged at Flat Rocks.  The crew were exhausted after fighting the storm for 48 hours and the decision was made to run the ship into the sand where she eventually began to break up.  Thankfully, no lives were lost.


The Melbourne Argus newspaper reported the loss of the Jersey-built barque AMAZON near Cape Paterson and the despatch of HMCS Victoria to rescue the crew in late December 1863.

According to the newspaper accounts, the barque left Melbourne on December 12, 1863 bound for Mauritius with a cargo of salted meats (crews rations). During the night a gale blew up from the south, the sails were reefed (rolled up) and the vessel hove to (came to a standstill).

Despite all attempts the Amazon started to drift leeward towards the shore. On the morning of the 15 December 1863 the vessel came ashore on a sandy beach, close to some cliffs one mile south west of Andersons Inlet.

The fore and main masts were cut away to prevent the vessel from breaking up. The crew got ashore and set up camp.

The wreck was discovered eight days later by a Mr Heales on his way to Melbourne to spend Christmas with his family.

HMCS Victoria was despatched to rescue the crew.

The vessel was put up for auction on 31 December 1863.

The location was given as one mile south west of Andersons inlet and eight miles east of Cape Paterson, lying broadside to the beach and buried to a depth of nine feet in the sand. The water in the hull was level with the lower deck beams.