Tasmanian Seafarers' Memorial

Nereus (1931)

The plaque reads ...

Dredge NereusD. 'Nereus"
10.1.1931going dredge left Sydney
for delivery to Leven Harbour Trust at
Ulverstone. Left Eden with 11 crew
10.2.1931 under tow by tug 'St Olaves'.
Capsized due to water lkeak into port
bunker, sank 12.2.1931 off Low Head,
Tasmania with loss of 2 lives.
Captain ~ Keith Fitzgerald ex RAN
Mate ~ Harold Scarborough

The Melbourne newspaper The Argus reported the following on Monday 16 February 1931 the sinking of the Dredge Nereus.

Engine-room Flooded.

SYDNEY, Sunday. - A graplic account   of the foundering ot the dredge Nereus in Bass Strait, l8 miles north ot Low Head,   Tasmania, early on Thursday morning was given by the master ot the tug St Olaves, Captain Hine, on the arrival of the tug in Sydney today. The St Olaves was towing the Nereus from Eden (N S W) to Ulverstone (T.) when the disaster occurred.    

Captain Hine said that a choppy sea was running when shortly before 6 o'clock on Thursday morning the mate of the St     Olaves, who was on the bridge, received a signal from Captain Fitzgerald, of the Nereus, to ease down. 'The mate called me," continued Captain Hine, "and I had hardly reached the bridge when the dredge turned over and sank. It was all over in an instant. We cut the towline and launched   the lifeboat. Nine men were taken from the water, and shortly afterwards we recovered the body of Captain Fitzgerald. We saw no sign of the mate, Mr Scarborough, although we searched for more than two hours." Survivors had affirmed that the foundering was due to the stoving in of the engine-room bulk head, through which the sea poured, flooding the engine-room.

A preliminary inquiry into the loss of the Nereus will be opened bv the deputy director of navigation (Captain G. D. Williams) to-morrow.