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Rapid Bay jetty
Title : Rapid Bay jetty Rapid Bay jetty
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Creator : Wenmouth, Bernice M.; photographer
Source : The Wenmouth Collection : Rapid Bay
Date of creation : ca. 1964
Format : Photograph
Contributor : State Library of South Australia
Catalogue record
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Description :

Jetty used to load limestone, on to ships, at Rapid Bay

The first jetty was built at Rapid Bay in 1867. However it was badly sited and poorly constructed, giving a bare 80cm of water at its end. It was destroyed in a storm in 1916 and no replacement was erected until 1942. Broken Hill Proprietary Ltd (BHP) tested limestone deposits near the town, and finding it satisfactory, built a jetty for its export. This jetty was 487.7 metres long with a T head. It was built specifically to accommodate the conveyor belt and associated machinery.

BHP ceased mining the limestone quarries in 1981. The jetty was subsequently taken over by Adelaide Brighton Cement, but is no longer used for this purpose.

The jetty was closed in 2003 for safety reasons and a protracted campaign was begun to have the jetty repaired and re-opened as it was a popular destination for fishermen and divers. Work finally began on the construction of the new jetty in August 2008 and it was opened to the public in February 2009. The new jetty is 240 metres long, utilises solar panels for the lighting and stairs and platforms for scuba divers. It is expected that the old jetty will continue to remain in place alongside the new jetty as it supports a diversity of marine life including the leafy sea dragon (Phycodurus eques) which is South Australia's marine emblem and is only found in Southern Australian waters.

Coverage year : 1964
Place : Rapid Bay
Region : Fleurieu Peninsula
Further reading :

Parsons, Ron Southern passages: a maritime history of South Australia. Netley: Wakefield Press, 1986.

Collins, Neville The jetties of South Australia: past and present. Woodside, S.A., Neville Collins, 2005

Successful fight for Rapid Bay Tourist site: 3.9 m for a safe jetty. The Advertiser, Saturday 9 September 2006, p.16

1114 days and finally work to begin on the new Rapid Bay jetty. The Advertiser Friday 1 August 2008, p. 15

Rapid Bay jetty open The Times, Thursday 26 February 2009, p. 1

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