On this day …….. 17th of December 1967
On this day in 1967, Prime Minister Harold went missing at Cheviot Beach on Point Nepean near Portsea. Holt together with friends Christopher Anderson, Jan Lee, and George Illson and his two bodyguards, drove down from Melbourne to see the British yachtsman Alec Rose sail through Port Phillip Heads in his boat Lively Lady to complete a leg of his solo circumnavigation of the globe, which started and ended in England. Around noon, the party drove to one of Holt’s favourite swimming and snorkelling spots, Cheviot Beach, on the eastern arm of Port Phillip Bay. Holt decided to go swimming, although the surf was heavy and Cheviot Beach was notorious for its strong currents and dangerous rip tides. Ignoring his friends’ pleas not to go in, Holt began swimming, but he soon disappeared from view. Fearing the worst, his friends raised the alert. Within a short time, the beach and the water off shore were being searched by a large contingent of police, Royal Australian Navy divers, Royal Australian Air Force helicopters, Army personnel from nearby Point Nepean and local volunteers. This quickly escalated into one of the largest search operations in Australian history, but no trace of Holt could be found.