Bee (ship)

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Name: Bee
Owner: Benjamin Crew
Notes: Sank off the coast of Newcastle, Australia in 1806
General characteristics
Class and type: Sloop
Tons burthen: 11 tons

Bee was a ship that sank off the coast of Newcastle, Australia in 1806.

Bee, an 11-ton sloop, was under the command of Thomas Bryant when it set sail from Sydney, Australia for the Hawkesbury River on 25 June 1806. On 28 June the ship ran into a storm that shifted the ballast, and damaged the rigging and mast. All the food was washed overboard and the water barrel was smashed. On 29 June the storm abated and Bee joined with another small ship, Contest, on the way to Newcastle. While Contest managed to get into harbour, Bee was becalmed just outside. A strong current then took the ship southwards when the anchor dragged.

Further squalls sprung up over the next couple of days and shredded what was left of Bee's sails. The two men crewing the ship, Bryant and the ship's owner, Benjamin Crew, were exhausted, hungry and thirsty as the current then took them northward. On 12 July, Bryant killed the ship's cat and they drank its blood, and on 16 July Bryant died. On 18 July, Crew was able to get the attention of a passing whaler, Brothers which rescued him. Bee was left to drift and was never seen again. Crew returned, and was landed in Sydney on 21 July 1806.[1]


  1. ^ Australian Shipwrecks - vol1 1622-1850, Charles Bateson, AH and AW Reed, Sydney, 1972, ISBN 0-589-07112-2 p43