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The English mail steamer, RMS Rona, which was transporting 137 convicts to Australia, came across an an unidentified ship stranded on a sandbar off Bijourtier Island. A party sent by the Rona to investigate and if necessary help, discovered a zombie with a broken back, who was dragging itself across the ship’s deserted decks. When the sailors from the Rona tried to help, the zombie bit a finger off one of the sailors, and was subsequently decaptated by the cutlass of another. The wounded seaman was taken back to the ship, and given a drink of rum, with the Rona's surgeon promising to look him over the following morning. That night, the sailor turned in his bunk, and attacked his mates. The frightened captain ordered the hold boarded up, with the result being that the convicts were trapped in with the zombie. For the rest of the voyage to Australia, the hold echoed with screams that turned into moans. A few of the crew swore they could hear the agonized squeaks of rats as they were eaten alive as well. The Rona reached Perth after six weeks at sea, with the officers and crew coming ashore to tell the magistrate what had happened; however it looked as if no one believed them. A contingent of Army soldiers was sent for, supposedly to escort the prisoners off the Rona; however, they failed to arrive for five days. On the sixth, a storm blew through the area, breaking the Rona's anchor chain, carrying the ship up the coast a few miles, and dashing it against a reef. The crew and the local people searched the ship, but found only human bones, and tracks leading inland, but no zombies. The story of the Rona was widely told among sailors from the late nineteenth to the early twentieth centuries. Admirality records list the ship as being lost at sea.

The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection From the Living Dead
Max Brooks | Solanum | Zombies | Outbreaks | Recorded Attacks