Names: David Graham // Andrew Graham
LAST SEEN: 37’ 48.73” S x 150’ 07.4” E // Christmas Island
Missing since: January 1995 // September 2014
Then aged: 39 // 55
FUN FACT: A romantic, famous for inventing pasta dishes // Spiritual, John Lennon fan and martial artist
Jen Jurss has few memories of her father. She was only 12 when he disappeared. ‘He had a mole above his left or right eye. I don’t even know which it was, but I remember that I used to look at his face and I’d always look at that. But that’s not even a memory, you know.’
‘Mum and Dad separated when I was three so our contact with him was sporadic. I don’t even know the last thing I said to him, or when I last saw him. I do remember we tried to call him on Boxing Day, but he’d already left for the start of the race. He’d already gone.’
David John Campbell Graham. He was passionate about sailing. In the early 80s, when he was in the navy, the family lived at HMAS Cerberus naval base in Victoria. He started sailing on the yachts the Navy had.
‘I think his first Sydney to Hobart was 1988 because I have a photo of him with a bunch of very 80s looking guys in short shorts and tight shirts. It’s written on the back, Sydney to Hobart, 1988.’
“And even when, you know, years later, of course they’re gone, your head says that repeatedly, but your heart just never puts it to rest, ever.”
David completed three or four Melbourne to Hobart yacht races, and in 1994, finished the Sydney to Hobart yacht race for his second time, on a yacht called “Impetuous”. It was on the journey home, he was lost.
‘We don’t have a headstone,’ says Jen. ‘We have a police report with coordinates.’
Twenty years later, Jen received the news that her uncle Andrew, too, had disappeared…
After the story, Loren and Jen discuss the challenges of not one but two ambiguous losses, the lack of support, and the interesting ways missingness impacts your life.
What’s Missing was adapted from MPAN’s book, Too Short Stories. Jen, David and Andrew’s story was written by Robyn McMicking. Get a copy of the book at Too Short Stories.
Hosted by Loren O’Keeffe
Additional writing for this episode by Erin Munro
‘Wildflowers’ by Jess Ribeiro
Audio production and music composition by Mike Migas
Graphic design by Maricarmen Rubí Baeza
Video and web design by Paulina Szymanska
Missing Persons Advocacy Network (MPAN)