Grafton Rowing Club History: Early Shipping 4
Australian Rowing Professional
Flooding Grafton
Early Shipping on the Clarence

Early Shipping 4 - "Agnes Irving"

PS "Agnes Irving" landing goods at Lawrence in about 1870

One of the finest and most successful vessels ever to work the coast was the paddle steamer "Agnes Irving. Built in 1862 at Deptford Green, London, the "Agnes Irving" was 62 metres (204 feet) and 439 tons with two 140 h.p. engines.

She was a fine, large iron paddler, but was to come to grief after only seventeen years of service. At 1:00 pm on December 26, 1879, whilst crossing the Macleay River Bar at the old entrance at Grassy Head at low tide, she was struck without warning by a big sea and driven onto the South Spit, where she broke up. No lives were lost, but the Master, J. Magee, had his ticket suspended.

The wreck was re-discovered by divers in 1978, 1 to 2 kms (1 to 1 miles) off shore in a line from Grassy Head, in 9 to 15 metres (30 to 50 feet) of water. She had apparently shifted during an outflow of water after heavy flooding of the Macleay.

Early Shipping - Page 5