"SS Pareora"Print Page Print this page

The cross, erected at the gravesite, is a memorial to three crewmen of the "S.S. Pareora" which was wrecked in 1919 on Althorpe Island in Investigator Strait, South Australia.

On Wednesday morning 17-September 1919, SS Pareora departed Port Pirie with a cargo at zinc concentrate for the company's works at Risdon near Hobart. During the early hours of 18 September 1919 the vessel struck an outlying rock off the north side of Althorpe Island. the crew tried unsuccessfully to release the lifeboats, and the weather deteriorated. The steamer was struck by a large wave that filled the engine room and washed the boats overboard.The force of another wave sheared off the stern and pushed the remaining part of the vessel onto its side. Four of the crew attempted to swim to shore but were not seen again. The rest of the crew clung to the wreck, with successive waves washing individuals overboard. Eventually, after two hours, the bridge was swept away and the Pareora turned over and slid beneath the water. Three of the surviving crew were swept towards the cutter Zephyr, which was sheltering about a quarter of a mile away. They roused the master and crew, who bravely took the cutter out into the storm to rescue other survivors.
In total, eleven lives were lost in this tragedy, but only three bodies were recovered. The Marine Board enquiry was inconclusive, but attributed the Pareora’s grounding to ‘faulty navigation’.

Lying forlornly on a slight rise near the Jetty, where the shadow of the cliff seems to cover it like a shroud, is a grave, containing the remains of the three men who were washed ashore from the ill-fated Pareora. The grave is surrounded by a white-painted fence, and set in the middle, is a cross. bearing an inscription:—"ln memory of J. C. Branthwaite, J. P. Booth, R. Doerly, S.S. Pareora, 18/9/19." The grave is kept painted by the lighthouse keepers.
The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA), 3 March 1934.


GPS Coordinates:Lat: -35.369165
Long: 136.861633
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Grave
Monument Theme:Disaster
Actual Event Start Date:18-September-1919
Actual Event End Date:18-September-1919


Approx. Monument Dedication Date:1919
Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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