This post could also have been entitled 'S is for Shipping' or 'S for is Serious Accident' or the long-winded and tongue-twisted, yet descriptive, 'S is for Serious Shipping Accident on the Sea Spray'.
The Sea Spray is another of the handful of ships owned at some stage by our Robert. From what little research I have done in preparation for this belated S posting (yes, I am aware that the AtoZ Challenge was supposed to finish on Monday but I am determined to complete it, date be damned!) it appears the 296 ton brig was built in 1864, purchased at some point by our Robert and then put on the run between Newcastle and New Zealand delivering coal, timber or even expensive champange! During one such ditch crossing, having disgorged one load of cargo and while being filled with another, our Robert who not only owned the ship but also worked in the capacity of boatswain, suffered yet another serious accident which saw him knocked unconscious, mostly buried under ballast and assumed dead.
He survived with nothing more than concussion, thankfully, but the accident underscores the seriousness and risk involved in many occupations and in particular, shipbuilding and/or sailing as many other seamen aren't so fortunate to return from a journey. Two of Robert's brother included.