A man is swept out to to sea while fishing for crayfish off the rocks along the rugged, and extremely treacherous, west coast of Tasmania.
Despite a number of searches by experienced locals, the man’s body is never recovered. Just over 12 months later, two fishermen make a startling discovery after hauling to shore a giant octopus.
The sad news of the drowning of a well known and respected local was reported in the Zeehan and Dundas Herald on 5 February 1912
“Yesterday afternoon the police were notified that Mr Richard Shaw Burke (better known as “Dicky” Burke) had been drowned off the Trumpeter Rocks, just north of Trial Harbor. It appears that Mr Burke, in company with Mr Alick Tengdahl, had gone to the Trumpeter Rooks, off the Cornwall Cliffs, on Saturday, on a fishing trip, and yesterday morning, the weather and sea had been very calm.
“Mr Burke had taken up a position which in ordinary weather, is known to be fraught with danger, but under the existing circumstances, appeared quite safe. The result was another exhibition of the treachery of the sea. Mr Burke had been fishing for some little time, when suddenly a big wave reared itself over the rocks and swept him off.
“Mr Tengdahl, who was some distance off, saw the occurrence, but was powerless to assist the drowning man, who was carried out by the receding wave and lost to view. There is little doubt that, becoming entangled amongst the kelp, which is thick in the vicinity, he would speedily be drowned.
There have been numerous reports over the years have recounted stories of a giant octopus. Take the following for example:
Monster octopus killed: Man’s shirt in stomach
Under the sensational headline: Monster Octopus Killed At Cornwall. Man’s Shirt In Stomach, the Zeehan and Dundas Herald stated on 22 April 1913 that:
“On Sunday last Messrs H. Goninon and A. Cooper, of Zeehan, went out to Cornwall Rooks, a favorite fishing spot on the coast beneath Mount Heemskerk, and north of the Pulpit Rock and Trial Harbor, an a fishing expedition, in pursuit of crayfish, and when they had the net baited and set it was noticed that something large was operating upon it.
“At first it was thought that a conger eel had entered the cray net, but when the latter was lifted it was found that the catch was a huge octopus. With great difficulty the net was dragged on to the rooks from which the fishermen were operating, and from thence to the shore, where the party had a fire lighted on which to boil the crays they might catch.
“The octopus was consigned to the flames, where he fought hard for life.
“When measured he was found to be 12ft 6in long, and 3ft wide across the back. The tentacles were of huge dimensions, and it is considered that the octopus was the largest ever caught or known of on the coast.”
Could this be the giant octopus' little brother?
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