Saturday, December 8, 2012


157 passengers and crew lost as a result of a severe cyclone (Lua).  Date:  March 1912.  Sounds familiar?  Thoughts of the 'Titanic' are dredged up.

WRONG.  This is not the 'Titanic'.  This is the 'SS Koombana'.  An Australian maritime tragedy that, coincidentally, occurred shortly before that of the 'Titanic', in 1912.  But because of the latter, the former seemingly disappeared into oblivion.

History?  Absolutely.  And a very important part of our history in Australia yet, ask 99.9999999% of the population here if they have ever heard of it and you're more than likely to get a vague look in response.  But mention the 'Titanic' - hmmmm - completely different story.  W.  ONhat an essential part of history it is - how absolutely and disgustingly tragic that it was all but ignored and overlooked because of a similar tragedy that occurred on the other side of the world, just weeks later.  

The 'Koombana' was an Australian ship.  Built in Glasgow it became the pride of the now defunct Adelaide Steamship Company but was lost at sea, thanks to Cyclone Lua, in March 2012.  Sadly and in my opinion, very poorly, little is known and there appears to be an equal lack of interest about it.  

The 'Koombana' was one of our ships - an AUSTRALIAN ship.  Many of the passengers were Australian.

A centenary was held to mark the 100th anniversary of this fateful story at Port Hedland, where the 'Koombana 'was lost.  There has also been a more recent exhibition mounted by the Fremantle Maritime Museum - but it seems none of this is helping to 'educate' the general public about our tragedy, whereas most of them know all about the 'Titanic'.

It appears that the wreck of this ship has never been found - but then not a lot is known in general about this particular ship nor the fateful voyage and it's tragic end.  Whereas there is sooo much information, including at least one movie, about the 'Titanic', which is wonderful for the latter - but why was the 'Koombana; so seemingly overlooked, even by Australians?

Bringing the details of this maritime tragedy to light and giving it the attention and exposure it so badly deserves is absolutely essential - for our history and for the education of Australians.  For those people who lost loved ones.  For everyone.

One couple who lost family members has decided to do just this - they approached me (and none of us will ever know why they did) about it and I am now doing my level best to organise much more exposure, via the media if at all possible (it is an Australian maritime tragedy so why the hell not???) and I am in the process of writing a book about it.  A few things are in the pipeline.

Should there be any media interest at this stage or if anyone has any other information relating to this tragedy, please contact me.  Believe me, it is all very welcome.  

A huge launch will be organised for the release of the book itself.

Watch this blog and my websites for further information as it comes to hand.

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