A project of Capricorn Coast Historical Society and Livingstone Shire Council
The Historical Marker's location is located in Matthew Flinders Drive.
The Early Years
In October 1848 the 62 ton transport schooner Selina was found waterlogged and dismasted, washed ashore near this point, by Captain Roach of the cutter Will-o’-the-Wisp.
The Selina was built for Captain Deloitte of Sydney and launched in Brisbane in 1847. She had departed the Pine River north of Brisbane on 31 July bound for Sydney with a cargo of cedar logs and carrying a crew including Captain Cameron. Selina failed to arrive in Sydney and was not sighted again until she was found 15 months later near this spot, now known as Wreck Point.
Importance to the Community
The Selina had lost her crew in some unknown disaster at sea and drifted on the ocean currents before eventually making landfall, still carrying her cargo. She was upright on the beach, her mainmast and all her sails gone, but the foremast was still standing. There were holes in the deck that some have interpreted as being used for bailing water from the hold.
In November 1848 the schooner Breeze, under Captain Proctor, was sent from Sydney to salvage the Selina. The crew succeeded in re-floating her and towed her into Keppel Bay but she was leaking badly and they needed more resources to complete the salvage. Breeze sailed for Sydney to obtain necessary equipment, leaving one man, Evan Owens, with a supply of rations aboard the Selina to operate the pumps.
The Breeze failed to return; Owens’ rations ran out and after about 6 weeks he was forced to leave the ship to look for food. Owens was exhausted but he had continued to work the pumps almost constantly for more than four months. He finally abandoned the Selina and she sank in Keppel Bay in about four fathoms (7.3 metres) of water. Some seven months after he had been left behind, Owens was rescued by the Secret, under Captain Jackson, which had been sent to retrieve him.
In July 1849 the Breeze was reported aground on Stewart Island south of New Zealand by an American whaling ship, the Mechanic. The crew were alive and hoped to get the boat re-floated, so they were given provisions. In December two of the crew were returned to Moreton Bay but the captain remained with his boat.
The Later Years
Retired Rockhampton harbourmaster (1919-1921), Captain F Rhodes, in his 1949 publication, The Port of Rockhampton, calculated that the drift of the Selina on the prevailing currents would have carried her south to parallel with the Gabo Island lighthouse off the coast of Victoria, before the Bass Strait current pushed her east across the Tasman almost to New Zealand. There, the equatorial current would have swung her north-westerly back towards the Queensland coast to make landfall near Wreck Point: an incredible crewless journey of more than 2,600 nautical miles.
1. Map of probably course of Selina.
3. Shipping Gazette & General Trade List (NSW 1844 - 1860) (Saturday 7 August, 1847, Pg 567)
2. Launch of Selina (Moreton Bay Courier, Saturday 22 May, 1847, Pg 2)