A step towards solving a maritime mystery
A group of four archaeology students searched the sea and land on Kangaroo Island’s west coast earlier this month in a bid to find the historic Loch Sloy and the burial sites of 11 bodies recovered from the sea when the barque, en-route from Glasgow to Port Adelaide, sank on April 24, 1899.
Records show 30 people, including the captain, six passengers and most crewmen, died when the ship ran into rocky waters while heading towards the Cape Borda lighthouse.
There were four survivors, one of whom died after reaching land, but the exact location of the shipwreck and the bodies recovered from the waters, except for one, has remained a mystery.
During the week-long field trip – led by Department of Environment and Natural Resources Maritime Archaeologist and Flinders graduate Amer Khan – the team excavated an area between Cape Borda and Cape du Couedic in the hope of finding any remnants from the tragic incident.
Flinders archaeology masters student Lynda Bignell said the researchers believed they had found the exact position of the wreck, using a magnetometer.
“Historically the whereabouts of the ship has been roughly documented but we used a special maritime metal detector at that location and it came up with a high reading, indicating that something is definitely down there,” Ms. Bignell said.
“It’s quite exciting because we originally went out there to look mainly for the graves, the search for the shipwreck was just one part of our extensive research into the incident.