'So great a loss of life has not happened in Table Bay since the year 1799.'
Thus reported the South African Commercial Advertiser on 3 September 1842.
The Waterloo under Captain H Ager had been bound for Tasmania but, putting in for water at the Cape near the mouth of the Salt River on 28 August, had encountered a gale-force north-westerly to which she had speedily succumbed, her rotten hull timbers breaking up.
Only a few hundred metres away, the British troop transport, Abercrombie Robinson, 1425 tons, Captain John Young, on a voyage from
Dublin, was wrecked in the same gale. This ship was carrying 700 souls, including detachments of the 27th Regiment and Cape Mounted Rifles as well as the 91st Argyllshire Regiment (numbering 450), but due to the discipline of all on board, everyone was saved.
This story ranks alongside that of the
Birkenhead for human courage and selflessness while in peril on the sea.