Heritage VIC




Cape Howe,

VHR Number


Date lost


Year of construction


Statement of Significance

The Gunundaal has historical significance for its involvement in World War I as a minesweeper. It can be compared with other wrecks such as the Brolga and HMAS Goorangai that were similar Castle-type trawlers wrecked in Victorian waters.

Physical Description  
Construction Material Iron
Hull Details One deck, two masts, ketch rigged, elliptical stern, clincher built, straight head, three water tight bulkheads
Propulsion Steam - Screw
Number of Masts 2
Length / Breadth / Depth 115.0 Feet / 22.0 Feet / 11.9 Feet
Builder Smith s Dock Co. Ltd, Middlesborough
Built Date 1915
Built Port / Country South Bank-on-Tees / England
Registration Number 2 of 1928
Registration Port / Country Sydney / Australia
Former Details of Registration 10 of 1923
The Gilbert San was a 'Castle' type steam side trawler, capable of a speed of 8-10 knots built in 1915 at Southdale on Tees, England at a cost of 12,600 pounds. Originally intended for an experimental NSW Government trawl fishery, cost cutting forced its sale to New Zealand owners, but that venture was unsuccessful and the vessel was returned to NSW. It was owned by the Coastal Trawling Co. which merged with the Red Funnel Fisheries Ltd. It was a sister ship to HMAS Goorangai (wrecked in a collision in 1940 in Port Phillip Bay) and the Albert San/ Brolga (lost on Beware Reef near Marlo in 1926). The Gilbert San served as an auxiliary minesweeper wiht the RAN in 1917-1918 with a crew of RAN brigade members. Between October 1917 and January 1918 it swept for mines off Gabo Island laid by the German raider Wolf. A further minesweeping operation in the same area was conducted in September-October 1918. After the war the Gilbert San was returned to the NSW Government who sold it in 1923. After several changes in ownership the Gunundaal was acquired by Caminiti and Sons for use as a steam trawler. Renamed the Gilbert San on 22 March 1928, it was wrecked on a reef near Cape Howe on 4 November 1929. All hands were saved. The Register was closed on 9 December 1929 on advice from the owners, who had abandoned it as a total wreck.
Voyage Details  
Date Lost 03/11/1929
Voyage from Sydney to Cape Everard, southern fishing grounds
Owner 1915-22: State Trawling Industry 1923-24: Stanford Ltd 1925: not listed 1926-27: Coastal Trawling Co. Ltd. 1928-29: Red Funnel Ltd., Charles Caminiti trading as Cam and Sons
Cause of Loss
Ran ashore on Cape Howe
Further Details  
Number of Passengers 0
Number of Crew Members 0