HOME OF THE LADY DENMAN - Local history isn't always about the big story - the everyday story of life in the early development of the region can be a fascinating, entertaining and educational journey.

9 January 2018

Goonambee trawler – Jervis Bay

March - 1928
The Goonambee was an Australian Trawler based in Sydney and operated along the eastern seaboard.
Built at the State Dockyard at Newcastle in 1919 she was part of an attempt by the NSW Labor Holeman Government to set up a deep sea State Fishery in 1914, by 1920 the venture lost more than it gained and the Fuller Government gave up and sold out.

The fleet of trawlers was sold to private companies with the Goonambee going to Red Funnel Fisheries Pty Ltd.

In large seas in March 1928 the Goonambee  with 13 crew on board was making her way to Sydney with a full load of fish, around 7am while off Jervis Bay, she broke her rudder and began to drift tossing and wallowing in the big seas.

Fortunately another trawler the Bar-ea-mul, of the same company was also making for Sydney and came alongside the drifting Goonambee.image

A hawser was made fast and the tow to port commenced. At 8.45 that night the Bar-ea-mul crept through Sydney Heads with the Goonambee slowly dragging behind.


The Goonambee was requisitioned by the RAN on June 28, 1940, she was commissioned HMAS GOONAMBEE on August 9 that year, and attached to Minesweeping Group 74, based in Brisbane.

GOONAMBEE was acquired by the RAN on June 29, 1943, but paid off almost one year later, on June 21, 1944, and was sold back to Cam and Sons on October 4 that year.

She continued in the commercial fishing industry until 1954, when she was eventually laid. She was in Sydney in 1958.

00266_Goonambee.tifRef: https://www.flickr.com/photos/41311545@N05/5487449519
Ref: *Graeme Andrews’ book The Watermen of Sydney can be had from Boat Books, ABC books and all good book stores.


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