Changes Over Time to Two Wreck Sites at the Jervois Basin Ships’ Graveyard
By Steve Reynolds

There are several wrecks in the Jervois Basin Ships’ Graveyard at Ethelton. Two such wrecks are the Trafalgar and the Alert. Here is an early photo of the Trafalgar when it was still a paddle steamer at Echuca: –

The paddle steamer Trafalgar at Echuca

This picture is taken from “Redgum & Paddlewheels – Australia’s inland river trade” by Peter J. Phillips. According to the book, the Trafalgar carried both cargo and passengers and she once produced one of the fastest journeys in river history. There are many (lots) of photos of the Trafalgar in the book.
The wrecks in the Jervois Basin Ships’ Graveyard are slowly changing as the years roll on. This photo of the Trafalgar wreck was taken by Martin (Jacka?) around 1988: –

The Trafalgar in 1988

It featured on the front page of The Advertiser on 30th December that year. A “Port Adelaide Ships’ Graveyard” pamphlet from January 2002 featured this photo of the Trafalgar: –

A photo of the Trafalgar featured in the “Port Adelaide Ships’ Graveyard” pamphlet
(January 2002)

Here is a photo of the wreck in 2019: –

The Trafalgar in 2019

This photo of the Alert in 2002 can be found at https://www.toursa.com.au/listing/category/jervois-basin-ships-graveyard/ : –

Alert in 2002
(Source: https://www.toursa.com.au/listing/category/jervois-basin-ships-graveyard )

This photo of the wreck of the ketch Alert in 2005 can be found in “Quality Assured: Shipbuilding in Colonial South Australia and Tasmania” by Rick Bullers: –

Mangrove regrowth is beginning to obscure the remains of the Alert
(Taken in 2005 by Jun Kimura)

The Alert on the interpretive signage at the site

The site of the Alert in 2011

The site of the Alert in 2019

I took many photos of both the Trafalgar and the Alert when I visited the Jervois Basin Ships’ Graveyard in July 2019. Some of these are shown below: –

The Trafalgar

The Trafalgar

The Trafalgar

The Alert

The Alert

The Alert

The Alert

The Alert

The Alert

By Steve Reynolds

Steve Reynolds is the current President of MLSSA and is a long-standing member of the Society. Steve is a keen diver, underwater explorer, photographer and is chief author of the Society's extensive back catalogue of newsletters and journals.

2 thought on “Changes Over Time to Two Wreck Sites at the Jervois Basin Ships’ Graveyard”
  1. The ketch Alert was broken up and beached in 1960. The Trafalgar may have been beached in the 1940s, having been brought to Port Adelaide that decade, but the ship’s weak iron frame prevented it from being converted to a ketch as planned by Reginald Crouch, so he left it beached.

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