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15 March, 2021

Lockhart River erects memorial at plane crash site

A small but classy gesture from Lockhart River Aboriginal Shire Council has paid tribute to five men who were killed in a plane crash in the community last year.

By Matt Nicholls


The mayor, CEO and a small team of council workers visited the site at low tide on the anniversary of the tragedy to erect a memorial cross.

Pilot Stuart Wavell and fly-in workers Wayne Ganter, Henry Roebig, Wayne Brischke and Mark Rawlings died when their Cessna 404 Titan crashed into sand dunes on March 11, 2020.

“It was one of those eerie days when it was overcast and a lot of rain,” Lockhart River mayor Wayne Butcher recalled.

“You couldn’t see anything and then we heard that a plane had gone missing.

“The memorial cross was constructed using wood from an old shed which had been knocked over by Cyclone Trevor in 2019.

“It was good-quality hardwood and we thought it would be a good way to have something positive come out of two tragic events,” he said.

“We put five flowers up in front of the cross in memory of the five lives … we hope it will give a sense of closure.”

Cr Butcher said family members of the victims were welcome to visit at any time.

“The whole community felt your pain and we’re here to offer our support,” he said.

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