Having dived the Mindora twice now (the last time this past Monday), little was known about the ship or the reason for her loss. The ‘go to’ website of Wrecksite.EU only had one record published, a three masted ship as lost on a voyage from Cardiff to Panama with a cargo of coal. This is certainly not ‘our’ Mindora. Even with spelling derivatives as Mindoro, Mendora and Mendoro to name a few, nowt. De nada. However, I recalled a dive log from Mandy and Tom of their dive on the Mindora earlier this year. I remembered some brief details as sourced by Mandy and referring a page on Wikipedia, suggesting the Mindora and one other vessel was lost on 28th November 1864.
Crew List Index Project
British Newspaper Archive
This is where things started to liven up. Very much like today, it would appear that there was news syndication and my first eye opener was a news report of the era from The Scotsman dated Wednesday 30th November 1864. It stated that The Times published particulars in “yesterday’s paper” of a catastrophe.
There We Have It?
There we have it. The Mindora was sunk after a collision by the Khersonese and the suggestion is that the Khersonese also sank. But is that the case? Back to the Lloyds Register Foundation Heritage & Education Centre website and it shows that the Khersonese went under repairs and cites the Mindora in the opening sentence. Bingo!
And there’s more. The Dundee Courier dated Thursday 8th December 1864 reports:
“LONDON, Dec 6. – The ship Khersonese, Barclay, from London for Calcutta, which put back, having been in a collision with the ship Mindora, for Vancouver’s Island in the Channel (as previously reported), has arrived in the East India Dock, and has partly discharged her cargo from the fore hold to repair her damage.”
Back to the British Newspaper Archive and this time, review articles previous to the disaster and we see that an article from the Shields Daily Gazette dated Saturday 20th August 1864 states:
“From the yard of Mr W. Adamson, Pallion, the Mindora, ‘a ten-years’ barque of 436 tons register, and of the following dimensions:- Length, 136 feet; breadth, 27 feet 8 inches; depth 17 feet 8 inches; sold to Sunderland owners.”
Googling William Adamson of Pallion lead me to Peter Searl’s website referencing Ships Built In Sunderland whose names began with ‘A’. A slight error in the name (Mindoro) and no official number, but a 436 ton barque was launched 17th August 1864.
But It Doesn't End There
More British Newspaper Archive queries between August 1864 and December 1864 not only shows the disaster. As early as Wednesday 7th September 1864 the Shipping and Mercantile Gazette shows the Mindora as advertised as a ship for freight and passage to Vancouver from London. The Liverpool Albion of Monday 28th November shows the Mindora departing for Victoria.
Summary and Conclusion
It appears that the Mindora was built and launched in August 1864 but just three months later did end a catastrophic sinking as in collision with the Khersonese. While the Mindora sank, the Kersonese arrived back in London for repair in contradiction to initial reporting. To this end, I have now created a new entry for the Mindora on the Wrecksire.EU website and updated the Khersonese record too.