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The Countess Russell departed London on 27th February 1873, carrying 348 migrants. By the time it dropped anchor in Keppel Bay on 29th June 1873 six adults and 11 children had died; two of those deaths were among the six children born on the voyage.

The immigrants suffered a further ordeal when an outbreak of typhoid occurred while the ship was at anchor. During their 21 day quarantine, five more adults and three children died.

After finally discharging its passengers the ship sailed from Rockhampton to Newcastle NSW to load coal destined for Batavian in the Dutch East Indies. On 21st August she sailed into a gale and ran aground, on Wreck Point off Deepwater National Park, close to the present town of 1770. The crew made it ashore but the ship was lost.

The anchor of the sailing ship “Countess Russell”, which went aground on the sandy beach south of Agnes Water in 1873, can be seen in the 1770 headland carpark.

The popular “Wreck Rock” beach in Deepwater National Park has its name from this incident.


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