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Loss of Norwich City

Norwich City left Melbourne on 17 November 1929 in ballast & with a crew of 35, 9 of whom were Arab firemen, on a voyage for Honolulu & Vancouver. On the evening of 29 November there was unusual weather & heavy currents. It appears that she was pushed off course & about 11pm she ran aground on the reef of Gardner Island, Phoenix Group, 80 miles W by S of Honolulu.  In the early hours of 30 November the vessel burst into flames. Signals for assistance were sent but by the time a radio message was sent giving confirmation that help was on the way all crew had abandoned ship. One of the lifeboats had been torn from its davit sending the master overboard. The crew took to the remaining lifeboat but it capsized in the surf. 11 men, 5 Europeans & 6 Arabs were lost, either by drowning, of injuries or shark attacks. The other 23 crew, cut & bruised from the sharp coral, managed to get to shore & found that the master had already managed to reach the beach. The steward died on the beach & bodies of the carpenter, a fireman & one other were washed ashore & all were buried on the beach. No further bodies were ever recovered. On 3 & 4 December the survivors were taken off by the skilful navigation through the dangerous waters by native boatmen in surf boats. 11 lives lost.

Lives lost November 1929: Ahmed Hassan, fireman; Ali Hassan, fireman; Ayed Naif, fireman; Horne, JW, 3rd engineer; Jones, JL, steward; Leslie, JJ, carpenter; Redman Yousef, fireman; Said Metanna, fireman; Saleb Ragee, fireman; Scott, TE, 4th engineer; Sumner, F, ordinary seaman.

Survivors November 1929: Abdul Hassin, fireman; Abdul Wahab, fireman; Bradshaw, G, galley boy; Coldcleugh, CO, 3rd officer; Clarke, T, wireless operator; Durant, C, cabin boy; Hamer, Daniel, master, 38, Barry; Harkness, DF, apprentice; Harrison, JR, boatswain; Hassan, Cassim, donkeyman; Hitchcock, JC, able seaman; sbestes, G, able seaman; Leiper, A, able seaman; Lott, Henry Cleveland, 2nd officer, Folkestone; Mohamed Noss, fireman; O’Brien, GB, apprentice; Pearson, H, mess room boy; Ross, DT, apprentice; Rowland, H, 2nd engineer; Stephenson, TG, apprentice; Stckbridge, P, cook; Thomas, J, chief officer; Walker, A, able seaman; Willis, W, chief engineer.

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