In Western Cape, South Africa
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A cache that forms part of the Shipwreck Series. For the series methodology and more info visit SS: Shipwreck Series via the related web page link.
The Colebrook, a British East Indiaman was on her way from England to Bombay with a cargo of lead, copper and military supplies, when on Tuesday August 25th 1778, she struck Anvil Rock, off Cape Point.
Dimension: Built by Perry, launched 1770, 3 decks, 4in bottom, length 137ft, keel 110ft ½in, breadth 35ft 6½in, wing transom 22ft 7¼in, port cell 23ft 10in, between decks 5ft 10in & 6ft 1in, 739 tons.
She began leaking badly and Captain Arthur Morris decided to beach her at Kogel Bay. 7 of the 15 crew on board the first pinnace were drowned when it capsized in the huge surf. Other ships arrived and they transferred most of the passengers before night fell.
The next morning the weather had moderated and some of those still on board were transferred to the ships standing by, whilst others made it to the beach on rafts. Third officer John Elliot and a small group of crew remained on board while the other ships sailed for Simon's Town. They then secured the wreck and rowed from here to Simon's Town. It was an arduous 20 mile pull that took them 10 hours. They were the last to leave the wreck.
The next day he returned with 3 boats to search for the Colebrooke's missing longboat. It had been packed with 57 people. Elliot spent the night at sea and returned to the Colbrooke on the Thursday and he recovered a few more items. He was lucky to survive this time as he was trapped by the surf on the wreck. The boat returning to pick him up was nearly destroyed. That night almost ended in disaster as a sudden north-easter drove his boat out to sea.
After a frightening and miserable night, Elliot eventually returned to Simon's Town on the Friday to receive news that the missing longboat had been found.
In 1986, more than 200 years later, the wreck was found by Cape Town diver, Charlie Shapiro. Some of the salvage material can be found in the IZIKO Maritime Museum in Cape Town.
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Last Updated: on 11/15/2017 3:39:33 PM (UTC-08:00) Pacific Time (US & Canada) (11:39 PM GMT)
Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum