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SS Lygnern

FREMANTLE. October 24.
A departmental inquiry will be held on Friday into the stranding of the Swedish steamer Lygnern. Every effort has been made by officials of the Fremantle Harbour Trust to establish the cause of the stranding, and the results of the dragging operations to locate the submerged obstruction or uncharted sand bank will be submitted in evidence at the inquiry. The Lygnern, which had arrived with a full cargo of Baltic pine and general lines from Europe, was removed from a berth along Victoria Quay on September 18 because of the watersiders' trouble suspending unloading operations. A pilot took the vessel to the anchorage in Gage Roads, where the charts showed a safe depth of water, and as the pilot was leaving the vessel the Lygnern was felt to touch a submerged obstruction. The Lygnern's rudder was torn off and the damaging of the propeller stopped the engines, and the disabled vessel carried on to Beagle Shoal, where she now lies with rocks piercing her hull amidships. The Lygnern's crew sailed for Europe on board the Orsova on Monday. Townsville Daily Bulletin, Thursday 25 October 1928, p. 7.


FHC photo #E000803-63. SS Lygnern, 1928, aground off Fremantle. View from south mole 19th September 1928. Part of a collection called Ships and Shipping Album 1919-1929.

The park [Fremantle Park] was across from our front door. If you looked out our back door you saw the mast of the Lygnern. This mast was in the home of the Rennies, who were involved with the Union Stores and others, at the back of our place. That was just at the time when wireless started, and the Rennies had the best mast in Fremantle. The Lygnern was the ship that had been wrecked just off the South Mole and stayed there for years and years. Kids used to make galvanised iron canoes and go out and play on it. You had to be fairly courageous in a little galvanised canoe, but that's what kids did in those days. They never named anything after the Lygnern. I never understood why, because just down further there was a ship named the Quinana, also a wreck, and they named a whole suburb Kwinana. Silbert 1999: 90.

There is a display about the wreck of the Lygnern in the Whalers Tunnel under the Round House. The ship is likely to have been named after the Swedish lake.

References and Links

Silbert , Eric 1999, 'Jewish personalities of Fremantle', Fremantle Studies, 1: 77-91.

Townsville Daily Bulletin, Thursday 25 October 1928, p. 7.

Garry Gillard | New: 17 May, 2017 | Now: 15 November, 2019