Cheviot Beach

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Cheviot Beach
Unpatrolled beach
Cheviot Beach.png
Location Victoria, Australia
Coordinates 38°18′42″S 144°39′50″E / 38.3117°S 144.6640°E / -38.3117; 144.6640

Cheviot Beach is a beach near Point Nepean in Victoria, Australia. It was named after the SS Cheviot which broke up and sank nearby with the loss of 35 lives on 20 October 1887.[1][2]

It is most famous as the site of the disappearance of then-Prime Minister Harold Holt; on 17 December 1967, Prime Minister Holt went swimming at the beach, disappeared, and was presumed drowned. He was last seen in the ocean and was then dragged under a wave, never to be seen again. His body was never found.[3] Point Nepean had long been a restricted area, initially for quarantine and then later for defence purposes; at the time, it was used by the officer training school of the Australian Army, and Holt had reportedly been issued a special pass to use the beach.[2]

A lookout and memorial to Holt overlook the beach on Cheviot Hill, accessible via a self-guided walk from Point Nepean; however, there remains no beach access, with swimming prohibited for safety reasons. Surf Life Saving Australia rates it as "extremely hazardous" for swimming, noting "at high tide the rocks and reefs lie immediately off the beaches and, as the tide drops, strong permanent rips intensify off the rocks and amongst the reefs."[4][5][2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Brad Duncan & Martin Gibbs (2015). Please God Send Me a Wreck: Responses to Shipwreck in a 19th Century Australian Community. Springer. p. 100. 
  2. ^ a b c "Point Nepean - The Silent Sands of Cheviot Beach" (PDF). Victoria's Heritage. Parks Victoria. Retrieved 8 February 2016. 
  3. ^ "Harold Holt's disappearance - Fact sheet 144". National Archives of Australia. Retrieved 8 February 2016. 
  4. ^ "Cheviot". Beachsafe. Surf Live Saving Australia. Retrieved 8 February 2016. 
  5. ^ "Park Note: Point Nepean National Park" (PDF). Parks Victoria. Retrieved 8 February 2016.