It may be 100 years ago that James Scully was killed while rescuing people from the sinking Nestor on the Hopkins River, but his grandson Mike Vafiades says it has come around quick.
One of those James pulled from the water was his own daughter, Molly, who was just eight years old at the time.
But after depositing his only child on the mud flats, James - a postman who rode his bike and swam every day - went back out to help others.
But in all the confusion and probably mayhem of boats heading to help rescue people, James was hit on the head - an injury that claimed his life.
He is among the 10 people who lost their lives that day.
James' death left Molly an orphan - her mother had died from peritonitis when she was just five.
She went to live with her three unmarried aunts, but the loss of her father in such tragic circumstances stayed with her.
As a kid, Mr Vafiades remembers his mother would just go off walking.
"We'd go out looking for mum and she'd be just missing her dad, even at the age of 38 she was still grieving," he said.
Mr Vafiades said his grandfather was a very fit man and his inclination was to help save as many people as he could - a fact that never came out in the coroner's reports.
"He made sure mum was safe and I know he went back to save other people because of his swimming ability but he was struck on the head and suffered a head injury and that's what killed him," he said.
"I think in all the confusion with people rowing out to save the people, there was row boats and oars being flashed around and boats would be crashing into people.
"I know what it's like rescuing people myself. It's very difficult to get amongst the people who are in trouble.
"It was probably mayhem out there in the water. It was a mighty effort from all the people who would have just been having a pleasurable day on the river."
The Nestor was on its maiden voyage when it began taking on water and sunk.
Mike's wife, Joyce, recalls her mother-in-law telling her how the water must have been seeping into the boat before it even left the shore.
"She was on the boat before it left the banks and her socks were getting wet but she didn't say anything because they were new socks and she thought she'd get into trouble for getting her new socks wet, so she didn't say anything," she said.
The boat, which was supposed to be under police guard, was eventually destroyed by fire, Mr Vafiades said.
"There was no compensation for anyone," he said.
His mum was a boarder at St Anne's in Warrnambool and during the war worked at Warrnambool's well-known store, Youngers.
Mr Vafiades parents were friends in Warrnambool before the war broke out, but a chance meeting in Melbourne after she had moved there and he'd joined the army turned to romance.
His mother's legacy, Mr Vafiades said was to ensure he and his brothers knew how to swim from the age of four.
"Mum encouraged us to be involved in lifesaving even though she had that terrible experience of losing her dad," he said.
Mr Vafiades was a founding member of Warrnambool's coastguard and has been vice-president of the surf lifesaving club, a chief instructor, IRB instructor and carnival officer for the Surf Lifesaving Club of Australia. Over the years he has helped rescue 25 people.
About 15 years ago, Mr Vafiades ended up at the funeral for one of the last survivors of the disaster by mistake.
He'd intended to go to Friday mass at St Joseph's church but because there was a funeral on, he decided to go to Our Lady Help of Christian's church instead only to find there was funeral there too.
He ended up sitting in for a few minutes and it turned out to be Jim Russell who was aboard the vessel when it sunk.
"How Ironic that I was at his funeral. It was a bit eerie really. It really spooked me."
For Mr Vafiades, it's hard to believe the event happened a century ago. "It has come around quick, when you consider I am just the third generation," he said.
Scully Lane in South Warrnambool is named after his grandfather as well as his great grandfather, also called James.
As well as being a postman, his grandfather was part of the voluntary militia which used to practice firing the guns at Flagstaff Hill.
His great grandfather was a constable in charge of the jailhouse, and used to live next door to the police station.
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