Home' Hunter Its People : Hunter-Glory Days June 2012 Contents PHONE: 4953 9811 • FAX: 4953 9833
There's only ONE place you will get a whole new level of vascular
ultrasound service... VASCULAR ONE ULTRASOUND.
LOCATED AT 2B/70 NORTHCOTT DRIVE, KOTARA
(opposite Westfield Shopping centre and behind McDonald’s)
■ Newcastle and the Hunter's most experienced vascular sonographer
■ BULK BILLING of Pensioners and Healthcare card holders
■ All referrals accepted
■ A locally owned and operated business
■ Free off-street parking, easy access and clear signage
Ultrasound diagnosis of narrowed and blocked arteries,
vein thrombosis, and incompetent vein valves leading to
varicose and surface veins.
SCANNING OF ARTERIES
Phone 4961 0011
& Julio Fuentes
Top of Town now at
Hamilton Sight Savers.
23 Donald St, Hamilton 2303 • Email: email@example.com
Providing superior eye-wear, eye-care
and service to the people of the Hunter.
We specialise in:
• Eye Examinations
• Glaucoma Screening
• Diabetes Screening
• Macular Scans
• FREE Digital Retinal
WE ALSO OFFER BULK BILLING SERVICES
The rescue of 33 sailors from the wreck of the
French four-masted barque Adolphe at the
entrance to Newcastle Harbour on September
30, 1904, is one of the most remarkable in the
Hunter’s maritime history and, more than 100
years later, is still looked on as miraculous and
one of the proudest moments in the history of the
It’s the story of the courage and skill of the
crew of the lifeboat Victoria II, who saved every
life on board even though the barque was being
hammered by waves, swept by seas from stern to
bow with tonnes of water pouring into the lower
It is just one example of the amazing bravery of
the 330 men who served in the Newcastle Lifeboat
Service, which saved hundreds of lives in the 108
years from its inception in 1838 to its end in 1946.
The Adolphe, under the command of Captain
Joseph Layec, was inward bound from Antwerp
when it was picked up by the tugs Hero and
Victoria and a pilot placed on board.
In the teeth of a gale, buffeted by howling wind
and huge waves, the Victoria’s hawser snapped
and giant rollers lifted the Adolphe towards the
infamous Oyster Bank, dumping her on top of
wrecks already there.
The Adolphe was stranded sideways with her
hull pierced, being smashed by roaring seas,
when the signal guns were ﬁred and the lifeboat
“They had a perilous task before them to
rescue the crew,” The Newcastle Morning Herald
reported. “The barque presented a magniﬁcent
though terrible spectacle. The splendid but utterly
helpless vessel stood perfectly upright, with her
bows heading to the harbour, resolutely resisting
the thunderous shocks of the sea”.
With thousands of spectators watching, both
from Nobbys and the partially completed Stockton
breakwater, the lifeboat and its 14-man crew under
coxswain Allen McKinnon made her way to the
wreck and attempted to go around its stern, but
after breaking four oars in many attempts this was
abandoned. The rescuers were beaten back by the
But McKinnon was ﬁnally able to manoeuvre
between the previous wrecks of the Wendouree
and Undus to get a line onto the Adolphe, then
anchor the lifeboat. Down this line the Adolphe
seamen slipped one by one. The Adolphe struck
at 10.25am, and by 12 o’clock the last of the ship’s
company (Captain Layec, who left his ship with
great reluctance) slid down the line to safety.
With 47 men on board, the overloaded lifeboat
made the dangerous return trip to Newcastle
So grateful was the French government for the
rescue that within a week the Consul-General of
France made the journey to Newcastle to present
a purse of sovereigns to the lifeboat crew.
Heroics and the lifeboat men were no strangers,
and two crew members, Antonia Costa and Vito
Loscocco, had previously been awarded the ﬁrst
gold medals for bravery in NSW for their actions
in rescuing passengers of the steam ship New
England when it was stranded at the entrance to
the Clarence River.
Years later, in 1909, they were also part of the
night rescue of the Alpena, an American schooner
in distress six nautical miles off Nobbys, that led
to the US President, William Taft, awarding the
lifeboat crew gold medals.
Over the years more than 200 ships were
wrecked entering or leaving Newcastle Harbour,
many on the Oyster Bank, but the Adolphe was
the sandbar’s last, and biggest, victim. Stockton
breakwater was extended to the wreck in 1906
and it was incorporated into the construction,
and when the rock wall was completed in 1912 the
deadly sandbar was gone forever.
RESCUE OF THE CREW OF THE ADOLPHE: SEPTEMBER, 1904
51. Heroes of the sea
The Adolphe aground with the tug Victoria in the
foreground and the lifeboat Victoria at its left.
Above, the Victoria crew and the rescued men of
Links Archive Hunter Our Backyard June 2011 Navigation Previous Page Next Page