It had been bad weather for two days. For the past week, HMAS Goorangai, had been scouring Bass Strait for sea mines laid by German raiders. At night, unable to see the mines in the dark, the minesweeper returned to the safety of Port Phillip Bay. But the weather on this night was making mooring at Queenscliff increasingly difficult and the crew of HMAS Goorangai got the vessel ready to make a run across the Bay to Portsea to seek better shelter.
At 8.37pm, 20th November 1940, as the 223 ton HMAS Goorangai crossed into the main shipping channel of Port Phillip Bay, the minesweeper was sliced in half by the 10,346 ton troopship HMAT Duntroon. Goorangai sank in less than a minute killing all 24 crew.
But the tragic story of the sinking of HMAS Goorangai really began five months earlier.