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"Milford Crouch" Print Page Print this page

02-February-2015
02-February-2015
Photographs supplied by Nigel Hawkes / Roger Johnson

The plaque commemorates the members of the crew who drowned when the wheat ship, a 3-masted auxiliary schooner "Milford Crouch" overturned and sank with the loss of five lives in October 1959.  

No trace was ever found of the crew who disappeared. There was one survivor. 

ADELAIDE, Wednesday.—The air and sea search for five men missing after the capsize of a small coastal schooner in Spencer's Gulf was abandoned tonight.  A land search along the shores of the gulf will be continued at dawn tomorrow although no hope is held of any of the seamen being found. The schooner, the 165-ton Milford Crouch, was making for Cowell to load wheat when it overturned in big seas yesterday afternoon only about 11 miles from its destination. A 19-year-old seaman, Brian Hickman, of Edithburgh, South Australia, was the only member of the crew saved. The five men believed lost are: Captain H. M. Sims, the ship's master, of Esplanade, Largs North, an Adelaide suburb; Michael Lee, seaman, of Angaston; Chandler, Reg seaman, of Edithburgh; Roland Hawke, seaman, of Brayville, and Andrew Leggatt, seaman, of Port Adelaide.  An air, sea and land search was made throughout today without sighting any survivors, although wreckage was seen about 14 miles off-shore. The disaster was seen from the ketch Hawk, which was accompanying the Milford Crouch on the trip to Cowell. The Hawk's master, Captain M. A. Godleman, put a lifeboat over but the sea was too rough to man it. It was then allowed to drift and Hickman swam to the boat and was taken aboard the Hawk. The Hawk searched the area until darkness without finding any other members of the crew. The Milford Crouch was built in 1957 for R. N. and N. G. Crouch of Adelaide. Another Crouch ship, the 500-ton Ian Crouch, mysteriously vanished without trace on a voyage from Hong Hong to Adelaide last year and 12 men were lost.
Canberra Times (ACT), 29 October 1959.

Location

Address:near old Jetty, Port Gibbon, 5602
State:SA
Area:AUS
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -33.802294
Long: 136.80189
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Details

Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:Disaster
Sub-Theme:Maritime
Actual Event STart Date:27-October-1959
Actual Event End Date:27-October-1959

Dedication

Actual Monument Dedication Date:Friday 21st September, 2001
Front Inscription

IN MEMORY OF
CAPTAIN H. M. SIMS
MICHAEL LEE,
REG CHANDLER,
ROLAND HAWKES &
ANDY LEGGATE
Who Drowned October 27 1959
When The Schooner Milford Crouch
Overturned & Sank In A Fierce Storm
Four Miles South Of Port Gibbon
Sole Survivor Brian Hickman

Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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