Celebrating South Australia


11 February 1867 Wreck of the Zanoni

 11 February 1867   Wreck of the Zanoni

On 11 February 1867 the three masted barque Zanoni sailed from Port Wakefield at 7 a.m. Bound for London, she was loaded with 15 tons of bark and 4025 bags of wheat. The weather was fine during the morning, but early in the afternoon a sudden squall from the westward 'came down with terrific violence; in fact a perfect cyclone' as it was later reported. The ship was struck so suddenly that she was thrown on her beam ends and turned over; she sank within five minutes. Fortunately the entire crew were able to scramble on to the keel and then swim to the lifeboat which, miraculously, had floated free and was a little distance away.

The Zanoni, similar in appearance to the Cutty Sark, was only two years old, having been built in Liverpool in 1865. She came to South Australia, on her maiden voyage, loaded with sugar from Mauritius. Subsequent searches by the Marine Board failed to find her and it was not until April 1983 that the position of the wreck was pinpointed. She lies in about 18 metres of water in the middle of St Vincent's Gulf in the vicinity of Ardrossan.

Bill Jeffrey, 'Zanoni Historic Shipwreck', in Historical Society of SA Newsletter, No 48, May 1983, p. 17.
The Advertiser, 5 December 1985, p. 3.