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26 February 1976 Wreck of the Loch Vennacher

 26 February 1976   Wreck of the Loch Vennacher

On 26 February 1976 a group of divers from the Society for Underwater Historical Research located the remains of the Loch Vennacher off Kangaroo Island, 71 years after she went down with the loss of all hands. 

The Loch Vennacher was a clipper ship, launched in August 1875, for the England - Australia run. Her last message was on 6 September 1905 when she reported to the Yongala that all was well. When she was obviously well overdue in Port Adelaide the Marine Board steamer, Governor Musgrave, was sent to search around the south-eastern end of Kangaroo Island but found nothing.

In the meantime the Annie Watt picked up a reel of printing paper, part of the cargo the Loch Vennacher was carrying, 18 miles north-west of Port Adelaide. Wreckage was also found near Cape St. Albans and on the south coast of the island. The Governor Musgrave left for a second search, but to no avail, although more wreckage was being found along the south coast. A third attempt was made on 9 October, but again without success. On 26 November two men who were inspecting shelter huts around the south and west of the island found more wreckage and in West Bay the body of a youth. They buried him in the sandhills.

Although the main part of the wreck has now been found the mystery of just what happened to the Loch Vennacher remains.

G.D. Chapman, Kangaroo Island Shipwrecks,   Roelbuck, Canberra,
1972, pp. 44-48. 
ociety for Underwater Historical Research.

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