Cherry Venture

Cherry Venture was a 1600 ton cargo ship of Scandinavian origin. It ran aground on Teewah Beach in South East Queensland, Australia on 6 July 1973 and remained on the beach for 34 years until its removal in early 2007.

The shipwreck in the 1970s
Name: Cherry Venture
Route: Auckland to Brisbane
Builder: Lindholmens varv, Gothenburg
Completed: 1944
Out of service: 1973
Fate: Shipwrecked
Status: Demolished
General characteristics
Tonnage: 1600


The ship, originally named the Scania, was built in Gothenburg, Sweden in 1945. She was later called the Slott and Timor Venture. In 1973, she was owned by Sea Tankers Pty. Ltd. of Singapore and known as the Cherry Venture.[1]

Cause of the wreck

On the day of the storm the ship was traveling from Auckland to Brisbane under the command of Captain Seluenu.[1]

Cherry Venture was wrecked due to a combination of severe storms and a lack of cargo.[2] Buoys in the area recorded wave heights of up to 40 ft (12 m).[2] The unladen ship sat high in the water, which, when combined with the high tides and strong swell, propelled it to a point far enough up the sand that it could not be successfully re-floated, despite attempts that involved dredging the beach.[2][3] However, the captain and the crew of 24 and 2 monkeys onboard all survived.[4]

Salvage attempts

The wreck was subsequently purchased by Peter Vagellas, an Australian entrepreneur, who had intended to re-float the vessel and convert it into a luxury liner and floating casino to service the Great Barrier Reef. In 1977 there was a failed attempt to refloat the ship.[5] Nine major salvage attempts over the years have failed.[1]

Public interest

The wreck was a popular stopping point for tourists en route between Noosa and Fraser Island, and has been photographed often.[6] Despite safety warnings regarding the rusting structure's unsound nature, visitors would often climb over the wreck.[5]


In December 1985, the ship's stainless steel propeller was removed using a thermal lance by Bill, Tony and Bruce Dunne of Caloundra. It was later restored by the Rainbow Beach Business and Tourism Association and then mounted as a monument in the township of Rainbow Beach.[1]

In late 2006 it was announced that the wreck would be demolished due to increasing dangers posed by its deterioration, including exposed asbestos in the engine room.[7][8]

The removal process, which necessitated cordoning off a section of public highway which runs along the beach next to the wreck, began on 13 February 2007.

2013 hull recovery

After the demolition of the wreck in 2007, the state government ordered the site to be buried for the safety of visitors. In 2013, Cyclone Oswald and local storms caused severe erosion at the site which removed the layer of sand above the remains of the hull. This sparked the tourism business as the wreck was and now still is a special example of Australia's shipping history.

See also

  • List of shipwrecks


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