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Wandering Jew

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History

The wreck site is located within the Barwon River at Brewarrina about 100 metres upstream of the nationally and State-listed Brewarrina Aboriginal fishtraps. Registered in Sydney as 88 of 1866, the vessel was launched in 1866 as the paddle steamer Riverina.  The iron vessel was built by J. Duncan and Partner in Echuca in 1866 of 87 tons with a 10 horse power engine. 

Historian Ronald Parsons noted that the steamer was altered to 66 tons gross in 1875 but burnt to the waterline in an accident on 2 April 1883.  The vessel was rebuilt, re-registered and named Wandering Jew in November 1890.

Parsons recorded another incident where the steamer was “reported to have suffered fire damage on 11 May 1898, but repaired". After a survey in July 1897, the vessel was no longer allowed to carry wool on deck.

In 1903, Wandering Jew was owned by a Mr George White and was recorded as the last steamer to reach Walgett in 1912. On 15 December 1914 Wandering Jew was again burnt at Brewarrina and became a total loss.  The last known register entry for the vessel was in March 1914. 

The Journal of the Bourke & District Historical Society refers to remains of the Wandering Jew exposed in the river during drought, presumably in the 1930’s.. 

Length 72 feet (21.95 m), Breadth 14.4 feet (4.4m); Depth 5 feet (1.5m). Official Number: ON38804. 

The wreck site wa inspected by the Heritage Branch in 2003. The hull is thought to lie at least partially extant in the river sediments, the main item being partly visible above current water levels being an iron structure, possibly the boiler. There have been no archaeological diving inspections at the wreck site.

PHOTO: PS Wandering Jew at Brewarrina - courtesy State Library of South Australia PRG 1258/1/3933
PS Wandering Jew at Brewarrina - courtesy State Library of South Australia PRG 1258/1/3933
photo: Wandering Jew, location in Darling River at Brewarrina. Photographer: Jillian Comber
Wandering Jew, location in Darling River at Brewarrina. Photographer: Jillian Comber

Database

Site information

Site ID: 2151
Type: Steamer paddle Construction: Iron
Primary industry: Transport Sub-industry:
Gross tonnage: 66 Net tonnage:
Length (mtrs): 21.95 Beam (mtrs): 4.4
Draft (mtrs): 1.5 Cargo:
Engine: 10 horse power
Country built: AUSTRALIA State built: New South Wales
Port built: Murray River, Echuca builder:
Port registered: Sydney When built: 1866
Registration number: Official number:
Sources:
Comments: Small portions of the wreck are visible at surface adjacent to river bank.

Lost event

When lost: 1914/12/15 Where lost: Darling River, Brewarrina
Wrecked/Refloated: Wrecked Sinking: Burnt to waterline
From port: To port:
Master: Owner:
Crew: Passengers:
Crew deaths: Passenger deaths:
Total deaths:

Location

Maximum latitude: 29.95673 Minimum latitude: 29.95673
Maximum longitude: 146.85756 Minimum longitude: 29.95673
Datum used: WGS84
  Datum    Latitude    Longitude    Zone    Easting    Northing
AGD66 29.95673466450080 146.85756000000000 55 486255.97932946900000 13314011.22956500000000
AGD84 29.95673466450080 146.85756000000000 55 486255.97932946900000 13314011.22956500000000
GDA94 29.95673002788380 146.85756000000000 55 486256.02853114000000 13313999.23569110000000
WGS84 29.95673002706700 146.85756000000000 55 486256.02853108400000 13313999.23569580000000

Management

Found: Yes Inspected: Yes
Protected: NSW Heritage Act 1977 Jurisdiction: State
Protection notes:
Signage: Nil Web address: