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The PS Collaroy, ca 1880, drawing attributed to William Forsterc 1880

by attributed to William Forster

The Collaroy ran ashore at Narrabeen, close to Long Reef, in 1881 during a dense fog. All 24 passengers and their luggage made it ashore in lifeboats, but one of the 16 crew members drowned. The livestock onboard, 40 pigs and 30 sheep, were successfully landed and driven into a paddock close to the wreck. Despite strenuous efforts to move the stranded vessel off the beach, it was not refloated until 1884. From 1881 to 1884, the Collaroy wreck was a great attraction and gave its name to this section of Narrabeen Beach and to the suburb behind it.