The 50-year-old mystery of an Australian vessel that capsized on its voyage, taking with it 3 crew, has finally been solved.
CSIRO announced the discovery of the wreck of MV Blythe Star, a coastal freighter that was lost off the coast of Tasmania, about 5 decades ago.
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The ship was headed to King Island from Hobart on October 13th, 1973, when tragedy struck. The ship suddenly began to capsize, and in no time, it sank off the southwest coast of Tasmania.
The 10 crew members escaped the sinking vessel using an inflatable life raft. However, 3 of them died before they were rescued 12 days later.
The people thought everyone onboard must have died and were shocked to hear of the survivors’ ordeal. At that time, great efforts were put into finding the vessel, but the 44 m-long freighter could not be found.
Last month, a team of researchers from CSIRO and Tasmania University were studying an underwater landslide when they accidentally stumbled upon the MV Blythe wreck around 10.5 kilometres west of Tasmania’s South West Cape.
The ship’s identity was confirmed using multibeam sensors and underwater cameras. The shipwreck is lying in 150 m deep water, per the seafloor mapping findings.
The unfortunate freighter was carrying fertilisers and beer when it sank. The crew exhibited great bravery in the most hopeless and torturous situation as they were left at the mercy of the ocean currents, drifting for 12 days before they were saved.
They could see land but not reach for it. They eventually reached land, a small beach at the foot of cliffs on the Forestier Peninsula.
Some days later, on October 24th 1973, 3 of the remaining 7 survivors climbed the steep and rugged cliffs and went through dense bushes to find help. They eventually found help and identified themselves as the crew of the MV Blythe Star.
At first, the people were too stunned and said, ‘Nah, you’re all dead.’
Following this unfortunate and tragic incident, major improvements in maritime safety laws were introduced in Australia.
Reference: News18, 9News