Sir Charles Hardy Islands
|Area||0.18 km2 (0.069 sq mi)|
Shipwrecks in this area include:
- Charles Eaton. Barque, 313 tons. Reg. London. Captain J.G. Moore.
On board was Captain William D'Oyley of the Bengal Artillery and his family. From Sydney to India, struck the Great Detached Reef, approximately 40 miles east of the Sir Charles Hardy Islands, on the outer Barrier Reef on 15 August 1834. Six of the crew stole the boats and set out for Timor which they reached about two months later. Those abandoned at the wreck made two rafts, then set out for the mainland. After days and nights of misery without food and water, they were captured by Aborigines who murdered all except two young men, John Ireland and William Sexton, and the two young sons of the army captain. They lived with their captors for some months, being eventually exchanged at Murray Island to a native for a bunch of bananas. Their new owner treated them kindly and months later, when the schooner Isabella was making a search for the lost ship, only Ireland and four-year-old William D’Oyley had survived. They were handed over to the Captain Charles Morgan Lewis of the Isabella, who returned them to Sydney. The ship also carried back skulls believed to be those of the murdered passengers and crew. Captain Lewis took leave of absence to take the young D’Oyley back to England to be placed in care of relatives.
- Island Queen. Schooner. Lost on the Great Detached Reef, 24 July 1854.
The 27 passengers and crew crowded into the longboat and set out for the Australian mainland. After passing through the Barrier Reef near the Sir Charles Hardy group of islands they received some supplies from the barque Ellen, repaired their rudder at Tuesday Island, declined an offer to board the Dutch barque De Nijverheid and proceed to Batavia, finally joining the steamer Ann which took them to Singapore.
- Sapphire. Wooden ship, 749 tons. Came to Australia from Liverpool, arriving 1859.
Captain Bowden. Sailed from Sydney to Gladstone where she took on horses for Madras, leaving 8 September 1859. Wrecked on a reef near Raine Island, Queensland, 22 September 1859. The crew took to the boats but while passing through Torres Strait they were attacked by natives with several crew killed. One boat sighted a derelict near the Sir Charles Hardy Islands and recognised her to be the Liverpool ship Marina, which they had last seen at Sydney. They repaired her and spent three hazardous months sailing her to Port Curtis. After being further repaired at Gladstone, she foundered off Cape Moreton, 1860, when sailing for Sydney. No lives lost. Her loss is associated with the mysterious origin of a cannon later rumoured to have been lost by the Spaniard De Quirros
- HMS Pandora. The naval frigate sent in pursuit of Bounty mutineers and the vessel.
The Sir Charles Hardy Islands are the closest terrestrial islands, approximately 60 miles to the south-west of Pandora Entrance.
- Firefly. The 250 ton brig captained by T. Kirby
Chartered to carry the explorer William Landsborough, his party and their supplies to last for six months in the search for Burke and Wills, before proceeding on to Surabaya. It was considered that Burke would have attempted to make a straight course from Eyres Creek to the Albert, and so the Albert was selected as the starting point. She sailed from Melbourne on 29 July 1861. After loading 30 horses and forage, on 24 August 1861 they left Brisbane to sail for the Gulf in company with the H.M.C.S. Victoria captained by Commander W. H. Norman. A hurricane struck near Raine Island and the Firefly grounded adjacent to Sir Charles Hardy's Islands.