Zanoni Ship’s Bell at the Ardrossan Museum


Vessel type: Composite barque

Date lost: 11 Feb 1867

Cause of loss: Sunk in a squall 

Number of Casualties: None

Discovery date (if applicable): 1983

Location/water depth: Off Ardrossan


The composite barque Zanoni was built in Liverpool in 1865. In 1886 she left on her maiden voyage to Port Adelaide where she loaded bark & wheat before leaving for Port Wakefield to complete loading. Her total cargo, when complete, was 15 tons of bark & 4,025 bags of wheat.


She left Port Wakefield on 11th  Feb 1867, about 1-30 pm a severe squall approached, sail was shortened but she capsized very quickly. Fortunately Captain Summers & his crew of 13 plus 2 stevedores survived by clinging to a lifeboat until picked up by the ketch Powles about 11 pm that night.


Rewards were offered to anyone who could pinpoint the wreck however it was not verified as the Zanoni until 1983. Lying on its side it is the most intact vessel of that era in SA waters. Now a Protected Zone with artefacts & images in the Ardrossan Museum.


Where is it?

In spite of rewards the exact site was not established until 1983 although it was recognised as a good fishing area. Taken to the area by a retired fisherman on 17th April 1983 divers soon realised it was the Zanoni. Sounds a bit fishy.

Artefacts from the Zanoni on display at Ardrossan Museum

Sketch of Zanoni wrecksite, Ardrossan Museum.

Zanoni objects at the Ardrossan Museum

Zanoni objects at the Ardrossan Museum

Objects of interest (artefacts, images or other collection items) associated with the shipwreck story.

Ship’s Bell

Various other artefacts

AMMC Member Institution

Ardrossan Museum

submitted by Avian Pink

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