Tasmanian Seafarers' Memorial

MV Blythe Star (1973)

The plaque reads ...

MV Blythe Star (1973)M.V. "Blyth Star"
Foundered en-route with cargo from
Hobart to Port of Grassy, King Island.
Capsized 13.10.1973. Crew of 10 took
to liferaft, drifting until 22.10.1973.
Landfall made at Deep Glen Bay, S.E. Tas.
J.Sloan 2nd engineer died 18.10.1973
J.Eagles Chief Engineer died 21/22.10.1973
K.Jones Chief Officer died 22.10.1973
~ Enduring courage honoured ~

 

The vessel Blythe Star of 371 gross tons with 10 crew and a cargo of superphosphate fertiliser and general cargo left Hobart bound for King Island. It was subsequently reported overdue resulting in the most extensive air and sea search that had been conducted in Australia to that time. Nothing was found of the vessel or crew but in the meantime the unseen liferaft containing the crew drifted east along the Tasmanian south coast to come ashore in Deep Glen Bay from where the seven survivors were rescued. Three crew who died were John Sloan, 2nd Engineer, John Eagles, Chief Engineer and Kenneth Jones, Chief Officer.

As a result of this tragedy the Australian Government amended the Navigation Act requiring ships of 300 tons or more to lodge a sailing plan and give daily position reports to overcome the difficulty experienced in searching for the Blythe Star for which it was not known whether a sailing course to King Island was taking the vessel east or west about Tasmania to its destination. This safety system is known as AUSREP or the Australian Ship Reporting System.