The Navigator - "S. S. Admella" Memorial Print Page Print this page

23-August-2016 (Mary Beaven)
23-August-2016 (Mary Beaven)

Photographs supplied by Bryan Cole / Mary Beaven

The Navigator memorial was originally unveiled in 1992 as a memorial to those who had lost their lives at sea along the South Australian coastline. The Navigator was moved from its original position in Saint Vincent Street with its large ship’s wheel, longitude and latitude, compass points and a new black granite block in time to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the sinking of the SS Admella. 

The Navigator was unveiled and rededicated at a candle light vigil at 5.30 am on the 5th August 2009 marking the time SS Admella departed from Port Adelaide on her ill fated voyage in 1859. 

The wreck of the SS Admella on Carpenters Reef in the early hours of August 6 1859 was the beginning of a horrific week for all on board the stricken steamer and the volunteers who struggled to rescue them. The Admella was sailing from Port Adelaide to Melbourne when it struck the reef. Within 15 minutes the ship broke up leaving passengers and crew clinging to the wreckage in sight of land with no water and very little food.

The loss of 89 lives over 8 days and the many failed rescue attempts makes the wreck one of the worst maritime disasters in Australia’s history.


Address:Timpson Street, Queens Wharf , Port Adelaide, 5015
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -34.841685
Long: 138.506107
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:Disaster
Designer:Karen Genoff


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Wednesday 5th August, 2009
Front Inscription

Plaque : 

The work titled 'Navigator', is a memorial to those who lost their lives at sea along our coastline.

It was designed by S.A. artist Karen Genoff and was funed by the South Australian Government with assistance given by the Art for Public Places Committee through the Department of the Arts.

Opened in February 1922 by the Hob. R. J. Gregory M.P., Minister of Marine.

Plaque :

Ships have made a vital contribution to the development of South Australia as an early colony, carrying cargo and passengers vast distances.  Tragically, prior to the many advances made to navigational aids more than 340 ships have been wrecked, most of them around the treacherous approach to St. Vincent`s Gulf.

The greatest single loss of life occurred when the Admella, en-route from Adelaide to Melbourne with a cargo of copper and passengers, was wrecked at Carpenters Rocks in August 1859.  The ship broke apart leaving 113 people clinging to the wreck for 6 days.  after numerous rescue attempts on high seas, 19 people were saved.

Inscription in Proximity
Rest In Peace
Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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