The loss of the ship’s master John Thistle, Midshipman William Taylor & six crew.
On 21st February 1802, Flinders’ expedition suffered a loss of crew in South Australian waters when the ship’s master John Thistle, midshipman William Taylor and six seamen were drowned when their cutter capsized while searching for fresh water. The seamen were J. Little, George Lewis, John Hopkins, William Smith, Thomas Grindall and Robert Williams. Flinders was deeply affected by this disaster and recorded place names including Thorny Passage, Memory Cove, Cape Catastrophe, and Thistle Island to commemorate the lives lost.
The Spencer Gulf was named Spencer’s Gulph by Flinders on 20 March 1802, after George John Spencer, the 2nd Earl Spencer, an ancestor of Diana, Princess of Wales.
Captain Matthew Flinders and his hungry crew members, discovered Kangaroo Island on 2 March 1802. They found no inhabitants but discovered what they needed most of all – fresh food! In his journal Flinders recorded “the whole ship’s company was employed this afternoon in the skinning and cleaning of kangaroos…in gratitude for so seasonable supply, I name this South land Kangaroo Island.