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W.a. Fishers’ lost at sea memorial association

In 1916, two fishing vessels left Port Denison to fish as this was their livelihood. Harold, the father, and young son Francis in one boat, with elder sons Theodore and Albert in the other.

By mid-afternoon with the breeze freshening Harold and young Francis returned to port, leaving brothers Theodore and Albert to do one more drift before heading home. They never returned.

For many years each evening their grieving mother would go to the water and light her hurricane lamp in the hope this would one day guide her boys’ home. They never came home.


Fishers' Lives Lost at Sea

Read the tragic stories of loss at sea in Western Australian waters from the 1800s to the present day. Meticulously researched by our historians, these accounts will take you back in time.

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Memorial Trail

Explore the W.A. Fishers’ Lost at Sea Memorial Trail, a collection of memorial sites commemorating fisher’s lives lost off our coast.

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Featured Stories

Annie (Elizabeth) Money


Albert Henry Money
Theodore James Money

Lost at Sea; Never Found
3 February 1916

This story is folklore in the Dongara/Port Denison community.

As the family story goes, Albert and Theodore Money’s mother wouldn’t allow them to join the Australian Imperial Forces and go to war until they were both 19, so they both decided to go fishing and wait until they reached the age their mother had stipulated for overseas service.

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Leo Kampe happy fishing at Cervantes


Leo Kampe
Drowned at sea; Body recovered
28 to 31 December 1975

Born on 22 February 1912 in Latvia, Leo Kampe graduated in the 1930s from the faculty of Theology at Riga University. After World War Two many people who had survived war torn Europe were given the choice of migration to a number of countries that were relatively unscathed by the ravages of war. Leo’s background in theological studies saw him being sponsored by the then Lutheran Church of Australia to provide spiritual care and services to the many newly arrived Latvian migrants. Accompanied by his wife Lucy and his young daughter Eva, he arrived in Australia in 1949.

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Barbich family immigration papers

Garbin and Barbich

Antony (Ante) Garbin
Andrew (Andrija) Barbich
Drowned at Sea; Body of Garbin recovered
6 July 1911

The first missing reports for Antony (Ante) Garbin (33) and Andrew (Andrija) Barbich, two fellow Croatians (Austrians), surfaced in the local newspapers on 20 July, when it was suggested the two fishermen had left Fremantle on the 14 July for Garden Island, intending to beach the boat to paint her.

Later reports suggested they had left for a 2 day fishing excursion. Both men had been “clad in oilskins” and they were last seen at 6pm off Woodman’s Point where they had “put in for tea”.

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