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Family Shares History of 19th-Century Lifeboat in Australia

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

JURIEN BAY, AUSTRALIA—A nineteenth-century lifeboat has been carefully retrieved from the rafters of a hay shed in Western Australia, according to an ABC News Australia report. Constructed in South Australia in 1885, The Maid of Lincoln was laden with a load of guano from the Abrolhos Islands when it sank off the coast of Western Australia in 1891. The captain and crew escaped the sinking vessel and traveled by lifeboat to the coast, where they were rescued by the Grigson family who connected the survivors with the police in the sparsely populated town of Jurien Bay. The captain gave the lifeboat to the Grigson family, who used it for fishing before storing it in the rafters of a hay shed some 70 years ago. After carefully measuring the boat in case it disintegrated during the removal, archaeologist Bob Sheppard, caver and ropes expert Ian McCann, and a team of volunteers extricated the boat from its perch and stored it intact in a weather-proof shed. It will be restored and put on display for the community, said descendant John Grigson. “There’s nothing like it in Australia. It’s just remarkable,” Sheppard added. To read about excavations of a nineteenth-century prison outside Melbourne, go to "Alone, but Closely Watched."

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