Vessel Name: Raymond

Thomas Katnic
Antun (Anthony) Yanko (Jack) Kosic
Tony Sardelic

Drowned at Sea; Bodies never recovered
26 June 1923

Jack Kosich

Tom Katnich

Tony Sardelich

Antoinette Kosich

On Monday 25 June 1923, three Croatian fishermen left Garden Island in their fishing boat, Raymond No. 37, with the intention of taking a load of fish to Fremantle. The Raymond was a boat about 30 feet long, and carried a ton of lead ballast.

Onboard the Raymond were:

  • Thomas Katnic
  • Antun Yanko (Jack) Kosich
  • Tony Sardelic

Their two companions, Petar Pekic (38) and George Blaskovich (39), who had another boat, remained on Garden Island at their base. The five fishermen would usually work together fishing the islands and reefs south-west of Fremantle.

Early on Tuesday 26 June, the three men of the Raymond arrived at Fremantle, and after selling their fish, obtained supplies for their base on the Island and commenced the return trip at about 9am. There was heavy weather reported outside the Port during that week.

By Friday 29 June, the boat had not appeared at Garden Island, so Pekic and Blaskovich who had remained there, set sail for Fremantle. Upon landing, Blaskovich rode a bicycle along the coast in the direction of Rockingham in the hope of finding trace of the missing men.

Blaskovich reported to the Fremantle police station that at midday Friday he discovered a number of side planks of the missing boat, and a number of small boards on the beach about three-quarters of a mile beyond the Naval Base.

Blaskovich and Pekic were of the opinion that the boat capsized near Clarence Rocks.

The three men had likely decided to do some fishing, as they had had a good deal of success recently near Clarence Rocks in catching schnapper. A sudden squall likely capsized the boat.

Later that day, Inspector Mitchell gave instructions for two mounted constables to patrol the coast between Fremantle and Rockingham, and as far as Point Peron. The Constables discovered a boat, with sails set near Clarence Rock. Clarence Rock was near the old Henderson Naval Base breakwater, about eight miles from Fremantle, and a mile from the nearest beach in Jervoise Bay.

The fisheries launch, Curlew, with Inspector Brown and Water Police Constable Clark onboard left Fremantle on Saturday 30 June, to search Carnac Island and surrounds.

It discovered a quantity of wreckage near Clarence Rock, including a portion of the mast and sails protruding in about 10 feet of water, but no bodies were discovered.

A hat, believed to have belonged to one of the three members of the crew was the only item found of the men in seaweed near Clarence Rock.

In the same month, and on the other side of the world, a French fishing boat, also named Raymond was lost off the Newfoundland coast, with two men dying from thirst and exhaustion waiting to be rescued.

Thomas Katnic (24) was born in Crikvenica, Primorje-Gorski, Croatia. He married Kathleen Lillian Marinovic Simic in Boulder. They had one baby child named Marie. Kathleen later remarried Petar Pekic, (his fishing companion) and went on to have four children with him.

Antun Yanko (Jack) Kosich (44) was born in Viganj, Dubrovacko-Neretvanska, Croatia. He married Antoinette Paravejia. Their children included Frances Mary and Ivan John Nicholas, both born in Croatia, and whom arrived with Antoinette onboard the Zieten in 1913.

Originally Jack worked in Boulder as a miner and arrived somewhere in 1911 to 1912. He is listed as a “fireman” living at Outram Street in 1916 in Boulder. They went on to have Phyllis Mary, Nicholas Francis, Francis Joseph, Mark Anthony and Christopher Anthony. At the time of Jack’s death, Antoinette was pregnant with Christopher and had six children to care for. Later their surname took the form “Kosick”.

Tony Sardelic was born in Dalmatia and was single at the time of his death.

For years after the disappearance, the families of Kosich and Katnic, both put in remembrance notices in the West Australian.

(The West Australian, Thursday 26 June 1924)

KATNICH – Sacred to the memory of my dear husband, Thomas, who was accidentally drowned on a fishing yacht, at Fremantle on June 26, 1923.

The shock was bitter, the pain severe,
To part with him I loved so dear.
True to his memory, dear to the heart,
My love for my husband will never depart.

Inserted by his sorrowing wife, K. Katnich, and Baby Marie.

(The West Australian, Saturday 26 June 1926)

KOSICK – In loving memory of my dear husband and our dear father, who departed this life, on June 26, 1923
God only knows how we miss him,
In a thousand different ways;
In our hearts his memory lingers,
Sweetly tender fond and true;
There is not a day, dear father,
That we do not think of you.

Inserted by his loving wife and family.