Newspaper article Tweed Daily News (Tweed Heads, Australia)

Robinson Crusoes of Cook Island

Newspaper article Tweed Daily News (Tweed Heads, Australia)

Robinson Crusoes of Cook Island

Article excerpt

Early one Monday morning in May 1937 six Currumbin men set out from Rainbow Bay to fish for schnapper (now known as snapper) off Cook Island.

Percival Sawtell, Myles Smith and Albert Hayter and his guest were dropped off on the island while Arthur Page and Ernest Shirley continued on in the boat intending to pick up the others later in the day.

The sea became rough before the landing party could be picked up, so Page and Shirley returned to Fingal Bay from where they planned to pick up the four men the following morning.

The sea, however, was even less inviting by Tuesday morning and any attempt to cross to the island was fraught with greater danger.

The plight of the four stranded men was now a cause of concern for Page and Shirley.

They decided to enlist the help of brothers Frank and Henry Dorrough who had been frequent visitors to the island since the early 1920s.

On Wednesday Page travelled to Bilambil where the brothers were farming and told them about the men. …

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