Library title - SS Empire (Gothenburg) page
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Photo of the SS Empire
(SS Empire at berth, Darwin Harbour. Image courtesy of N.T. Library)

The Gothenburg (similar to the SS Empire above) built in London in 1854, was a 197 foot steamer of 501 tons. She was originally built as the S.S Celt, and in 1866 she was lengthened and renamed the Gothenburg. She was carrying 84 passengers including various dignitaries and miners who were carrying gold-laden money belts, also cargo which included gold to the value of 40,000 pounds from Darwin (formerly known as Palmerston) to Adelaide. In February of 1875 she hit Old Reef and ran aground south of Townsville. Later that day a storm hit smashing her against the reef and sweeping her passengers and crew overboard. A few survivors were picked up, but the death toll reached 102 people. A month later gold worth 9,300 Australian pounds was salvaged but nothing else of value was recovered.


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