Laurence Tomlinson drowned on 6 Aug 1788 whilst on way out to the Supply on her return journey to Sydney the boat he was in was swamped and he lost his life along with three others – John Williams, William Westbrook and James Cunningham.
GOVERNOR PHILLIP TO LORD SYDNEY.
(Despatch No. 7, per H.M. Ship Sirius to the Cape of Good Hope; acknowledged by Rt. Hon. W. W. Grenville, 19th June, 1789.)
Sydney Cove, Port Jackson,
My Lord, 28th September, 1788.
Extracts from my letters by the ships which sailed in July accompany this letter, and I have now the honor of informing your Lordship that the Supply sailed for Norfolk Island the 17th of July, and returning the 26th of August, brought me the following particulars from the Commandant of that island. He says that immediately after being landed they proceeded to clear ground sufficient for building huts for themselves and a storehouse, the whole island not affording a single acre free from timber. They were landed on the south-west end of the island, a rough sketch of which I received from that officer, and have the honor of enclosing your Lordship. The bay in which they landed is sheltered by a reef of coral rock, through which there is a passage for a boat, but which, with the tide of flood when the wind is westerly, makes the landing dangerous; and a midshipman who was ordered to lay within the reef, in order to attend the boats coming on shore, imprudently letting the boat drive into the surf, was lost with four men. This was the second time the boat had been overset with that midshipman in her, and the first time one man was lost.
Philip Gidley King noted in his Journal the surf was dangerous and a flowing tide, the surge ‘broke into the boat and overset her … the boat drove out to sea & was lost’.
 HRA, Series 1, volume 1, p. 70.
 Philip Gidley King, Journal of Philip Gidley King : Lieutenant, R.N. 1787-1790.
- Norfolk Island first landing party March 1788
- Births and Deaths Norfolk Island 1788 to late January 1791
- Deaths and Burials Norfolk Island 1788 – 1814
- First Fleeters deaths on Norfolk Island
- First Fleeters Deaths 1788 Sydney and Norfolk Island