Trawler tragedies remembered on day of sadness

TRAGEDY: News clippings from the Magnet covering the fishing trawler tragedies of 1978 and 1994.

TRAGEDY: News clippings from the Magnet covering the fishing trawler tragedies of 1978 and 1994.

August 10 is a day of particular significance and sadness for Eden, reminding many of the lives of local seamen lost in two trawler tragedies 16 years apart.

The tragic coincidence saw both fishing trawlers sinking off Eden on an August 10 - the Shiralee in heavy seas south of Green Cape Lighthouse in 1978, and the Terrace Star running aground, also at Green Cape, in 1994.

The crew of three on the Shiralee were Michael Pease, 34, his brother Stephen, 27, and Terry Rowe, 25.

Tragically all drowned and their bodies were never recovered.

The Seamen's Memorial wall, which overlooks the entrance to Twofold Bay, was erected after the loss of the Shiralee and its crew in 1978.

It has since expanded with the names of other men lost at sea, including abalone divers, whalers and fishermen.

The Seamens Memorial Wall overlooking Twofold Bay now has names of more than 20 seafarers lost at sea attached to it. Photo supplied.

The Seamens Memorial Wall overlooking Twofold Bay now has names of more than 20 seafarers lost at sea attached to it. Photo supplied.

Sixteen years to the day after the Shiralee sank, tragedy struck the Eden fishing community again.

The Terrace Star ran on to rocks near Green Cape Lighthouse shortly after 4am on August 10, 1994. Two of the three men on board - Guy Robert and skipper Olav (Ollie) Mannes, both 27 - were said to have jumped overboard and swam out to sea away from the break, but tragically both men were lost.

The third crew member, Dustin Garret, 21, remained on the boat, and some reports say when he did go into the water, he was then able to be rescued by another nearby trawler.

Many boats went to search for the two lost men. Their bodies were later retrieved and laid to rest.

The wreck of Terrace Star in Disaster Bay in 1994, 16 years to the day after Shiralee was lost south of Green Cape. Photo used with permission of Stephanie Rawlings.

The wreck of Terrace Star in Disaster Bay in 1994, 16 years to the day after Shiralee was lost south of Green Cape. Photo used with permission of Stephanie Rawlings.

Heritage management and interpretation consultant Angela George spoke with The Magnet about the history of the date and its importance to Eden.

"Eden is ocean born and bred... with sailing ships, the steam ship era, the Sydney to Hobart, commercial fishery; the ocean was the highway in and out of Eden for the first century of European settlement," Ms George said.

"So much of Eden is tied up in maritime history and the story of the ocean.

"There have been many accidents which impacted the community, but there's not another event which has had as widespread emotional or personal impact, everyone knew someone who was involved.

"They were really emotional points in the town's history, even now that emotion is still there.

"At least five generations had personal connection to, or memory of, those events."

Read also: