CYCLONE TRACY SHIPWRECK MARKED WITH NEW BUOY
A SHIPWRECK off Darwin where five people died on the night Cyclone Tracy hit has been marked with a new buoy – allowing divers better access
The heritage-listed shipwreck of Booya sits about 20m below sea level on the outer reaches of the harbour and lay undisturbed for 30 years before it was rediscovered in 2003.
Booya had been anchored off Fort Hill Wharf on Christmas Eve, 1974, when the cyclone struck. Evidence suggests the threemasted schooner had gone to the aid of the Darwin Princess, with the rescue attempt resulting in a collision that sank both ships.
The harbour ferry, which had one sailor on board, was found in 2004 near the Booya.
Darwin barmaid Ruth Vincent had worked a shift at the Vic Hotel before she fatefully headed down to the Wharf to celebrate.
No one will know for sure, however, she may have joined the crew on board the Booya to ride out the storm.
Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Chansey Paech said the new buoy replaced two old buoys installed in 2006, including one that came adrift last year.
“The site is now protected as a grave, historic shipwreck and marine area, so the new buoy will safeguard the area which has restrictions on anchoring and fishing,” Mr Paech said.