YEAR OF DEATH
DETAILS OF DEATH
On 27 April 1850, the boat attached to the police station at Southport, situated approximately 70 kilometres southwest of Hobart Town, left Southport and set sail up the D’Entrecasteaux Channel for the settlement and police office at Three Hut Point (now known as Gordon), approximately 32 kilometres away.
Three Hut Point was one of a chain of coastal police stations between Hobart Town and Southport in south-east Van Diemen’s Land. The boat is alleged to contain Constables David Waddell, Mathew Grogan, Peter Shiels, Robert LEWIS and an unnamed boat coxswain. On the day the boat set out from Southport there were reports of very heavy winds and rough seas around D’Entrecasteaux Channel area between Hobart and the south of the Island.
After the boat failed to arrive at Three Hut Point a search of the waters between Three Hut Point and Southport was carried out over the coming days without success. On 11 May 1850, the Launceston Examiner Newspaper reported “BOAT LOST – The fears entertained for the safety of the boat attached to the police station at Southport, were too well grounded. The boat is wrecked.”
Later reports indicate that the boat was overturned, and the crew drowned somewhere in the vicinity of Satellite Island, off the west coast of South Bruny Island, approximately 6 kilometres southwest of Three Hut Point. No bodies were located, and no formal inquest was held following the accident.