Our flat overlooked the wreck of SS Pruth on the coral reefs to the south east of Fairfax Harbour. From our front window we used to enjoy watching the ships line up to enter the channel.
There is very little left of Pruth now, its remains lie at the entrance to the channel leading into Moresby, where the main shipping lane narrows between the reefs.
It’s a final hurdle before the safety of Fairfax harbour, discovered by Captain John Moresby in 1873 and named in honour of his father, Admiral Sir Fairfax Moresby
Pruth was wrecked on the reefs at the entrance to the Basilisk Channel during a cyclone in 1924. It was stranded high and dry.
Even then Pruth had its uses. It featured in the filming of Red Morning in 1935. And, in World War II, it was used for bombing practice. Aircraft flying as low as 50 feet above sea level practised bombing runs on the wreck.
Unfortunately some of them, mostly Havocs and Beaufighters, crashed into the sea just beyond the wreck site. You can dive on their remains to this day.
Also a Qantas Short Empire flying boat crashed nearby during a cyclone in 1943 resulting in 13 deaths.