MV Blythe Star Shipwreck Located Off Tasmanian Coast After 50 Years


The CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation) investigation has successfully located the shipwreck of the MV Blythe Star nearly 50 years after it sank off the coast of Tasmania. The vessel, which was en route from Hobart to King Island on October 13, 1973, experienced a list to the starboard before capsizing and taking on water.

Ten crew members managed to board an inflatable life raft and spent nine days braving worsening weather conditions at sea. Tragically, one crew member lost their life during this ordeal. The remaining nine survivors attempted to walk out of Deep Glen Bay on the Forestier Peninsula. However, two more crew members succumbed to exhaustion and hypothermia during the arduous journey.

Despite an extensive maritime search, the ship remained elusive for decades. However, a recent joint effort by researchers from the CSIRO and the University of Tasmania has successfully identified the MV Blythe Star shipwreck, located approximately 10.5km west of Tasmania’s South West Cape. The discovery was made during a study of a submarine landslide, utilizing mapping data and video imagery to confirm the wreck’s identity.

The shipwreck was found covered in minimal algae and seaweed growth, with damage to the stern and the wheelhouse missing. Video footage captured crayfish, schools of fish, and several fur seals swimming around the wreck. The confirmation of the vessel’s final resting place by the CSIRO brings closure to the 50-year mystery surrounding its whereabouts.

The tragedy of the MV Blythe Star led to significant improvements in maritime safety regulations in Australia. One notable outcome was the introduction of a maritime position reporting system, which has enhanced safety at sea. Catherine King, the minister for infrastructure, transport, regional development, and local government, emphasized that the shipwreck serves as a poignant reminder of the risks faced by maritime workers.

The successful location of the MV Blythe Star shipwreck highlights the importance of ongoing research efforts to uncover historical maritime mysteries and commemorate the lives lost at sea.