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Geltwood was an iron-hulled barque that was shipwrecked on or about 14 June 1876 during a storm on a remote stretch of the south east coast of South Australia. Nearing the completion of her maiden voyage from Liverpool bound for Melbourne the ship struck a reef, capsized and broke up. The wreck Coordinates: occurred 1.6 km from shore near the northern end of Lake Bonney and 16 km south-east of Southend.
Of the 31 passengers and crew there were no survivors. It wasn't until 5 July that the fate of the ship became known to authorities.
The events surrounding Geltwood are made infamous by reports of looting by some locals. The wreck was not reported to the police for two weeks, and in that time a number of people stole equipment and belongings that were washed ashore. A trial was held in Millicent which resulted in the acquittal of two men on the grounds they didn't know looting a shipwreck was a crime.
One of the Geltwood anchors can be viewed in Southend at a lookout on Cape Buffon drive. It is a memorial to those who have perished at sea, including local amateur and professional fishermen who have lost their lives at sea.
Another anchor and memorabilia can be viewed at the Millicent Living History Museum. Some Geltwood artifacts are also displayed in the Beachport museum.
A video of the remains of the Geltwood can be seen on Ozdiverdowns' YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IP4igCZ0ivE The referenced video footage was taken in May 2013.
- A Shipwreck at Rivoli Bay; Geltwood 1876 at http://www.environment.sa.gov.au/files/4b881c43-c246-4874-8cfb-9e2900d033a0/geltwood.pdf, retrieved 23/05/2012.
- 'Geltwood, a brief history of a Harrington barque wrecked on her maiden voyage'on Through Mighty Seas: A Maritime History at http://www.mightyseas.co.uk/marhist/workington_harrington/geltwood.htm, retrieved 26/03/2008.
- National Shipwrecks Database at https://dmzapp17p.ris.environment.gov.au/shipwreck/public/wreck/wreck.do?key=5381, retrieved on 23/05/2012.
- 'Geltwood Anchor Memorial' in Southend at http://www.southaustralia.com/info.aspx?id=9005361, retrieved 21/05/2012.
- 'The Shipwreck Room' at http://www.millicentmuseum.com/shipwreckRoom.htm, retrieved 21/05/2012.
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