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The Skeleton Closet

Kangaroo Island Shipwrecks

These are some of the shipwrecks which have occurred in the waters off the coast of Kangaroo Island in South Australia.

1847 William - wooden cutter - wrecked on a reef in Hog Bay - 23 August 1847

1851 George Home - 441 ton wooden barque - abandoned whilst sinking SSE of Kangaroo Island - 26 April 1851

1853 Osmanli - 403 ton steamer - struck reef at d'Estree Bay - 25 November 1853

1853 Midge - 15 ton wooden cutter - wrecked at Cape Willoughby - 29 June 1853

1855*Mars - 487 ton wooden barque - ran ashore at Cape Borda - 15 Jun 1855*

1859 Favourite - 199 ton barque - ran ashore in Antechamber Bay - 14 May 1859

1860 Atlanta - 8 ton wooden cutter - Emu Green - 29 November 1860

1860 Fides - 387 ton wooden barque - ran ashore in Snug Cove - 22 May 1860

1862 Breeze - 18 ton cutter - ran ashore near American River Ballast Head - 5 July 1862

1866 Letty - 158 ton wooden brig - ran ashore at Red Cliffs, Nepean Bay - 11 November 1866

1874 Fairfield - 534 ton barque - struck rocks at Cape Cassini - 9 August 1874

1875 Albert - 19 ton wooden schooner - parted mast at Antechamber Bay - 7 June 1875

1877 Emily Smith - 136 ton wooden brig - wrecked north of Cape de Couedic - 3 May 1877

1877 Tasman - no further details

1878 Treasure Trove - cutter - ashore at Kingscote** - 21 May 1884

1880 Byron - 174 ton brig - dismasted off Kangaroo Island and hulked at Adelaide - 22 May 1880

1880 JL Griffiths - 300 ton brog - disappeared off Kangaroo Island - 18 September 1880

1884 Mimosa - 81 ton ketch - parted mast at Stokes Bay - 14 April 1884

1885 Daring - 7 ton wooden ketch wrecked in Hog Bay Basin - 10 August 1885

1885 Fanny M - 678 ton wood and iron barque - ran ashore on Bay of Shoals near Kingscote - 15 May 1885

1886 Ewbank - 17 ton schooner - lost on south coast of Kangaroo Island - no specific date known

1890 You Yangs - 690 ton steamer - lost near Cape Gantheaume - 14 June 1890

1893 Tenterden - 1,339 ton iron steamer - wrecked on Breaksea Reef near Cape Northumberland - 23 December 1893

1894 Golden Hope - fishing cutter - lost at Redbanks, Nepean Bay - 16 April 1894

1897 Duncow - no further details

1899 Loch Sloy - 1280 ton ship - ran ashore at Maupertius Bay - 24 April 1899

1905 Loch Vennacher - sailed into cliffs at West Bay - 1905 all lives lost.

1905 Montebello - no further details

1906 Wanderer - no further details

1908 Robert Burns - no further details

1915 Gem - no further details

1916 Kona - no further details

1916 Brothers - no further details

1935 Portland Maru - 5,800 tonne steamer - foundered at Cape de Couedic

 

Approximately 50 ships have perished on the coast of Kangaroo Island, many with loss of life. The largest vessel to be wrecked on this coastline was the 5,800 tonne "Portland Maru" in 1935 which began to founder and sink near Cape du Couedic and finally sunk close to Cape Torrens.

 

The "Loch Vennacher" sailed into the cliffs on the West coast of the Island and a single body was retrieved from the sea and buried in the sandhills of West Bay and marked with a simple wooden cross bearing the inscription "UNKOWN SAILOR LOCH VENNACHER 1905".

*1855 - may be 1885, handwriting in record difficult to read, some varying recordings apply here - some sources state 1855, others 1885.

**Could be Kingston SE, as writing is hard to decipher in source document.

If you have information on any other wrecks which occurred on or near Kangaroo Island in South Australia - or if you can correct any mistakes I may have made here, please let me know.

 

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