Sunday Territorian

CYCLONE TRACY SHIPWRECK MARKED WITH NEW BUOY

- JUDITH AISTHORPE

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.

 ??  ?? The new buoy being installed at the Booya shipwreck site and the crusty old buoy on board the ship.
The new buoy being installed at the Booya shipwreck site and the crusty old buoy on board the ship.

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