by John H Marsh

Map of SWA/Namibia
The Dunedin Star ashore as first seen from Naudé's aircraft( view1, view2, view3)
The Dunedin Star looking a sorry sight seven months afterwards
Captain Immins Naudé and his intrepid crew
Naudé's Ventura bomber "Aircraft K" stuck in loose sand
The castaways' rude shelters on the beach
The castaways posing bravely to be photographed
The rescue ships: Temeraire; H.M.S.A.S. Nerine; H.M.S.A.S. Crassula, H.M.S.A.S. Natalia
The tug Sir Charles Elliott being repaired in dry dock;
wrecked among the breakers;
her master, Captain Harry Brewin
Captain John ("Pump") Brafield Smith; with his family on board ship
Captain Smith's overland rescue convoy struggling to get across a dried-up river; one of the trucks and its water trailer bogged
In the terrible 20-mile canyon every vehicle is bogged;
the water barrels are filled for the last time
at a waterhole before the start of the desert crossing
The repair truck sunk up to its running boards in the salt pan;
soft sand pock-marked with myriads of small sand dunes blocks the way of the vehicles
Rescuers and rescued - Denis Scully, who swam with the life-line through the surf;
Corporal Harvey bringing four crew men of the wrecked liner back to civilisation
The ill-fated Melbourne Star to which the rescued crew of
the Dunedin Star, her sister ship, were posted just before she was blown up
Three years after the drama a mineralogical surveyor reached the scene and took these photographs



Skeleton Coast in 1978
Photos taken by the author on a visit to the wreck site in 1978 (36 years after the incident)
This section contains a commentary that is worth reading once you have read the book
The Khomas Hochland
Rossing Uranium Mine
Naukluft sand dune mountain
Swakopmund fringe-of-the desert airfield
Swakopmund from seaward
Salt mine
Wlotzka's Baken resort
The cross of Diogo Cam at Cape Cross
Cape Cross seal colony
Beach seal colony
Guano-collecting platforms
Abandoned drilling station in the desert
Latest Shipwrecks on the Skeleton Coast
Can there be another stretch of coastline anywhere where there is no habitation, yet so many ships lie wrecked and visible off the shore?
In the space of some 400km we counted no fewer than 15, nearly all of them wrecked within the last decade or so and not yet so demolished as to be unidentifiable. Most were fishing vessels. Some lost members of their crews in the disasters, but the survivors were usually quickly rescued, generally by helicopter.
Trawler off the shore
Proud ship
Steel trawler in the surf
Crab fisher Suiderkus
Aircraft flying over the desert
The battle between the sand and the sea
Desert airfield
Möwe Bay, the only settlement on Skeleton Coast
Rocky Point, site of dramatic rescues
Louw Schoeman and his wife, Maureen
"Rommel, the Desert Fox"
Visitors at the abandoned amethyst mine
Land-Rovering in the Skeleton Coast Park
Skeleton Coast Park Gateway
Wind-eroded rock faces
Forbidding terrain
The mystery abandoned village
Remains of huts
Abandoned water barrels from Smith's convoy
The sand dune that protected the 63 castaways
Water barrels at the sand dune
Abandoned camp site
The Dunedin Star wreck area and relics
Flotsam and Jetsam
Masts and Yardarms from sailing ships
Weathered Yardarm
Wooden block
Seals at play
Gemsbuck at waterhole in Khumib River
Picnic in the Khumib River
Elephant spoor
Miracle garden
The Sir Charles Elliott wreck site and the grave of Mathias
Remains of Naudé's bomber
Diamond-prospector's abandoned apparatus at Rocky Point
Wreck of the Karimona
Wreck of the Suiderkus"
Sliding down the sand dunes
Diamonds galore



Additional historic photographs not used in the book
Lifeboat on shore with Dunedin Star in waves behind.
Truck stuck in river bed
All trucks stuck in sand
Kwawarib slup
Laying logs in drift
First truck to cross Hoaraseb River drift
Obtaining supply of drinking from "Ghorra" waterhole
Convoy crossing Gumatum river in flood
Truck bogged in track on turf mopani plains.
Naudé's bomber after the crash on the second convoy mission.



Photos taken by Mike and Joan Marsh on visit to Sarusus in 1978.
Flying to Sarusus
Passing salt pans
Guano collecting platforms
Seal colonies
Multi-coloured sands and dunes
Suiderkus wreck from the air
Rocky Point
Arriving at the airstrip at Sarusus Resort
Sarusus Resort
Bogged down Landrover
Desert fox near Sarusus
Signing a copy of the book while sitting on the tanker at the Dunedin Star wreck site.
The sand dune that protected the castaways at the wreck site.
Castaways campsite as it was in 1978
The three water barrels at the campsite
Water barrels that had been offloaded from the convoy.
Wreck of the Suiderkus at Möwe Bay
Visiting the memorial to Mathias
Grave of Mathias
Rocky point
Karimona remains
Driving along the beach at low tide
Scattered remains of Naudé's Ventura
Ventura engine in the surf
Gemsbok near a waterhole
Waterhole in the desert
Cactus in the desert
Mystery village
Remains of huts
Beautiful coloured earth
Early morning fog at Sarusus Camp
Lone Gemsbok crossing sand-dune
Climbing dunes
Where rocks meet the sand
Gemsbok on a sand-dune
Fog along the coast
Lunch in the river bed
Sand surfing down a huge dune
Joan sliding down the dune
Mike sliding down the dune
The disadvantage of dune surfing
Desert Rose and Amethyst nodule



Photos taken by David Curry on National Service in 1979
Entrance to the park
The tanker



Photos taken in February 2012
The tanker
The remains of the housing
Mathias grave memorial



Photos taken by Lee Botti, John's daughter, on visit in October 2015.
Remains of castaway campsite in 2015
Remains of the petrol tanker 73 years later
Ventura remains



Other interesting photographs
First day cover of postage stamp commemorating event

Copyright Mike Marsh(2020)

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