The Wreck of the Barque Stefano on the North-West Cape of Australia in 1875

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Media: BOOK - paperback, 138 pages
Author: G. Rathe
Year: 1990
ISBN: 0859051447
Other: b&w & colour photos, glossary, index
Publisher: Hesperian Press

An extraordinary drama of shipwreck and survival, 'The Wreck of the Barque Stefano' is a true story with all the ingredients of classic adventure fiction. This Croatian vessel with from Dubrovnik to Cardiff to pick up coal for Hong Kong. Off the North West Cape of Australia the ship was grounded and the sailors cast into the sea.

Shipwrecks were common - 1800 in the last quarter of the nineteenth century in that region alone - and castaways could expect a slow death. Although ten men struggled ashore, their plight was acute. The North West Cape is barren, plagued by heat and cyclones, and after three desperate months almost all were dead. The teenagers Miho Baccich and Ivan Jurich, themselves driven to cannibalism, were rescued by aborigines, members of a nomadic tribe whose generosity and compassion saved their lives. Eventually a pearling ship turned toward shore in a storm and they were discovered.

A year after the wreck the two returned to Dubrovnik and told a Jesuit scholar of their experiences. Gustave Rathe, Miho Baccich's grandson, first read the account as a boy in 1930. He has sought out other descendants of the principal characters and pin-pointed the sites of much of the story. In the spirit of 'Robinson Crusoe' and 'Treasure Island', this deft adaption of the original document unlock a true story rich in human insight.

1. Outward Bound
2. Shipwreck
3. On the Beach
4. Cave of Death
5. Life with the Tribe
6. The Last Walkabout
7. Exmouth
8. Rescue
9. Fremantle
10. Home Again and a Noew World
Aboriginal-English-Italian Glossary

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The Wreck of the Barque Stefano on the North-West Cape of Australia in 1875

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