Betsey (schooner)

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The Betsey was a schooner wrecked in the China Sea in 1805.

The Betsey was a schooner of 75 tons under the command of William Brooks and the mate Edward Luttrell. Betsey was sailing from Macau, China to Sydney, Australia when at 2.30am on 21 November 1805 it struck a reef. For three days the crew of twelve struggled to refloat the ship before abandoning the stricken vessel. Brooks, Lutterell and three Portuguese crew climbed into the jollyboat and the remaining crew abandoned the ship on a raft. The jollyboat and raft planned to travel together but a strong wind parted the two. The raft and its crew were never seen again. The jollyboat and its crew eventually made Balambangan off the North Coast of Borneo. Here they landed on the 2nd of December. Eleven natives attacked them. Brooks had both legs cut off and he died. One of the Portuguese crew was severely wounded as he made his way back to the boat. He died in the boat. Lutterell fought off the attackers and with the remaining two Portuguese headed back out to sea. Running short of food they approached some new islands on the 15th of December. As they were planning to land they were attacked by three Malay prows. One Portuguese was speared and killed and the other wounded. Both Lutterell and the surviving crew member were captured and kept as slaves. They were entirely naked and lived off sago. On 20 April 1806 they were put aboard a Prow and taken to Singapore and released. They both made it back to Malacca. [1]


  1. Australian Shipwrecks - vol1 1622-1850, Charles Bateson, AH and AW Reed, Sydney, 1972, ISBN 0 589 07112 2 p40