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Article written by Akita Olsen.
I stumbled upon Redgate Beach during a three-day hike on the Cape to Cape Walk with a class of high school students. Coming out of the bush and onto this beach, it took my breath away. The bay looked beautiful, with flat sand framed by red coloured rocks. I had never seen Redgate before and was surprised that no one had ever made me go.
Redgate Beach is breathtaking, with the views, waves, and red coloured rocks. Unfortunately waves are not always everyone’s friend. Just under the surf break of Redgate Beach, lie the rusting remains of the Georgette, shipwrecked in Calgardup Bay in December 1876. An outline of the hull may be just visible, 90 metres, on a clear, calm day.
The SS Georgette was carrying 50 passengers and a hull full of Jarrah timbers when it struck trouble near Redgate Beach. Orders were given to man the lifeboats. Seven people (two women and five children) perished. The damaged ship drifted into Calgardup Bay where it began to break up.
Sam Isaacs and Grace Bussell witnessed the ships break up and rode into the surf to save many lives. Their story can be read in a previous South West Life story: Grace Bussell.
Grace was awarded a silver medal and a gold watch. Sam Isaacs, whose tribal name was 'Yebble', was awarded a bronze medal for bravery and in 1897 was granted 100 acres of land at Ferndale. A short walk trail leads down from the carpark to the beach where the Grace Bussell and Sam Isaacs legend was born.
The Captain of the 'Georgette', John Godfrey, was blamed for the shipwreck, though he was later found not guilty on five accounts of negligence.
Redagte is truly stunning, overlooking the bay, rocks, and endless surfers. Redgate Beach is also a part of the Cape To Cape Walk.
You can visit Redgate Beach on Redgate Road, coming off Caves Road, in the Witchcliffe area.
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