Remembering the Lake Illawarra

Published: 6 Jan 2020

On this day in 1975 three hundred metres of Hobart’s Tasman Bridge collapsed into the Derwent River when it was hit by a 7000-ton bulk carrier, the Lake Illawarra. Four cars plunged into the river while another two were reported dangling on the edge of the bridge. Twelve people were reported missing and five were confirmed dead. “The bridge wavered for about 60 seconds before it collapsed on to the ship, which went straight to the bottom,” said witness Maurice Allan.


National Secretary Paddy Crumlin says “Today is the 45th anniversary of the Lake Illawarra tragedy where the ANL vessel collided with Hobart’s Tasman bridge with loss of life including crew and members of the public . It is a further stark reminder of the great sacrifices by Australian seafarers to the national interest in peace and war, and a timely reminder that our Australian flagged shipping remains essential to that interest”


We take a moment today to remember the lives that were lost. In loving memory of those not with us today.

S.S. "Lake Illawarra"

5.1.1975 on Derwent River, Hobart
7274 ton steam turbine bulk carrier
crew of 42, cargo 10,000 tons of zinc
collided with Tasman Bridge and sank
causing loss of 7 crew, 5 motorists.
A.Campbell*, A.Robinson*, C.Maddigan*
L.Mendizabel*, T.Sheridan*, R.Rezek
J.Stokoe, A.Sward, P.Sward
Missing G.Kemp*, R.Turner*, Dr T.Jones



Authorised by P Crumlin, Maritime Union of Australia, Sydney