Bee (ship)

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

The 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, damaged the rigging and mast. All the food was washed overboard and the water barrell was smashed. On 29 June the storm abated and the Bee joined with another small ship, the Contest on the way to Newcastle. While the Contest managed to get into harbour, the Bee was becalmed just outside. A strong current took the ship southwards when the anchor dragged. Further squalls sprung up over the next couple of days and shredded what was left of the 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. On 16 July Bryant died. On 18 July, Crew was able to get the attention of a passing whaler, the Brothers which rescued Crew. The Bee was left to drift and was never seen again. Crew 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