Veronica and Invictus in AB Harbour. Image courtesy of Colac Historical Society

Date of Event: 15 July 1967

Vessel type: Fishing boat

Location: Apollo Bay

Suggested title: Lost in the ‘eye of the needle’


“Veronica” a Portarlington fishing boat was missing for 8 days. After a failed air search, on 15 July 1967, Cape Otway lighthouse raised the alert at the Apollo Bay Fisherman’s Co-operative. Although it was dusk, with a storm looming, several fishing boats left port to search.

At last the vessel was sighted … “the Veronica was found and all aboard were well.” The tow line broke – three times before being shredded to ribbons. “Invictus” with Frank Barrand and crew turned back into the gale to where the “Veronica” had drifted off.

They fixed a tow and after a two-hour fight in the stormy sea they reached the safety of the Harbour to the cheers of waiting townsfolk. Frank later immortalised the rescue in a ballad.

Interesting anecdote

Ballad of the Veronica (1967). This daring-do rescue is penned in prose by Frank Barrand, skipper of the rescue boat Invictus. Capturing a point in time – the men, the boats, and the ingrained need to defy the elements and snatch back one of their own from ‘Davey Jones Locker’.

Newspapers articles from Colac Herald 17 July 1967

Newspapers articles from Colac Herald 21 July 1967


Name of person submitting the story

Jan Lewis


AMMC Member Institution

Apollo Bay & District Historical Society

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