Pilot Female, Ex Rottnest Ferry and Prawn Trawler: The varied life of Islander II

This beauty was a familiar site on the Swan River during the 1960s (photo 2). But before her career peaked, she enjoyed an extremely varied life, starting off as ‘Captain Heath’ a pilot vessel and light tender in Queensland during the 1940’s and 50’s (photo 1). She was bought and transferred to Perth where she was used as a Rottnest fast ferry, before being converted into a prawn trawler as modern boats came into service. It was in 1971, at the Gulf of Carpentaria, where her varied career and journey came to an end. Reports state water entered the hull and she sank.

Photo 1: Pilot female in Queensland in 1941

Photo 2: Islander II as a company pickup ferry to Rottnest island. Arrived in Perth in 1965.

Photo 3: Islander II as a Prawn Trawler. Sank – 1971

Please note, in order, the credits are as follows:

  • McKenna Collection, WA Museum (MHK D5_0125)
  • Verboon Collection, WA Museum (MHD 332_0038)
  • WA Museum (MHD 3142_2671)