Rip Jul 15th 1873

Pilot schooner, 92 tons. # 36660. Built New Brunswick, 1859; reg. Melbourne 1861. lbd 90 x 23.2 x 11.4 ft.


The Disaster to the pilot schooner “Rip”
Wood engraving published in The Australasian sketcher August 9, 1873.

Joined the Port Phillip Pilots service in 1860 to replace the lost Anonyma.

On 15 July 1873 she was overwhelmed by an enormous sea when proceeding outbound through the infamous Rip, Port Phillip Heads. Watchers on shore saw her disappear for several seconds, only to emerge with all masts and rigging gone and dragging over the stern. Four men died, the remaining crew all injured, some severely. A public appeal raised several thousand dollars to assist the bereaved families and the injured. Surprisingly, the vessel was not lost. The remaining crew managed to keep her facing the sea until the lifeboat arrived to rescue them, and local fishermen took the schooner into her anchorage at Queenscliff, where she was then towed to Melbourne for repairs. She remained in service until replaced in 1887 by a new vessel.

This article from The Argus, Monday 21 July 1873 concerning the enquiry into the incident:

news - Rip enquiry 1873

source: Trove at National Library of Australia