Sailing from Newcastle to Bombay. had delivered a cargo of wheat from Bombay to Sydney. The ship, under charter to T.G. Pitman, then took on a cargo of coal and some cattle at Newcastle, departing that port on 2 February 1830. Also on board was a printing press for delivery to Fremantle. Captain Steel had a crew of 49, and two passengers on board. At sunset on 4 March 1830 Cape Leeuwin bore north-west. After rounding that cape the Cumberland started heading north too soon and, doing eight or nine knots in calm seas, struck a reef at 8.30 p.m. less than a mile from the shore, which left the ship stranded on a hard rocky bottom with 4.6 m of water at the bow and 5.5 m under its stern. The boats were hoisted out, and cargo and other items were thrown overboard in an attempt to lighten the ship. Within half an hour there were 19 inches (48 cm) of water in the pump well, and at 10.00 p.m. the pounding drove the rudder upwards, seriously damaging the stern timbers and the poop and cabin decks.