Sur­vivors as­sem­ble

Mem­o­ries to flow for Ada Ma­rine Crew

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS -

“IT WAS a hor­ren­dous night of ter­ror; the seas were so fu­ri­ous and the wind was like su­per-sonic sound.”

Cy­clone Ada in Jan­uary 1970 was a dif­fi­cult time in our re­gion’s his­tory, but few suf­fered more than the Ma­rine Crew.

On Satur­day, sur­vivors of the cat­e­gory four cy­clone will come to­gether at the Reef Gate­way Ho­tel, where a book­let of per­sonal sto­ries by Ma­rine Crew mem­bers will be launched.

“Of the 14 deaths in the area, 12 of those were at sea,” or­gan­iser Glo­ria DeMar­tini said.

“One boat lost seven and it’s never been seen to this day.

“A hus­band, wife, three lit­tle chil­dren, the deck­hand and the skip­per.”

The Ma­rine Crew were skip­pers, deck­hands and en­gi­neers who were sent to sea when the cy­clone was de­tected.

“And un­for­tu­nately Cy­clone Ada turned into a cat­e­gory 4 cy­clone within hours,” Ms DeMar­tini said. “A lot of the crew were drowned.”

Ms DeMar­tini said the week­end’s re­union would be a rare meet­ing 46 years in the mak­ing.

“There’s one gen­tle­man com­ing who will be 90 and there are two in their late 80s,” she said.

“It’s very im­por­tant I think that they meet to­gether.

“It’s been a story that they don’t nor­mally talk about be­cause it was very ter­ri­fy­ing.”

The book­let will in­clude 34 first-hand ac­counts over about 80 pages.

Book­lets cost $15 each.

Photo con­trib­uted.

HEAVY TOLL: The re­mains of Tide Song which was de­stroyed in Cid Har­bour with one life lost.

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