Anita Mary and Sonia May HAGERSTROM

Anita Mary Hagerstrom 27 December 1989 in BillionGraves GPS Headstones |  BillionGraves  Beautiful twin daughters of Bob and May, much loved sisters of Melody and Brett, sister-in-law of Geoff, cherished aunties of Damon and Ben, loved by Gramdma Boehm and all the Hagerstroms; Sonia, beloved companion of Rob and Anita, his dear friend. Lost (believed drowned) from Neptune Island, aged 23 years.


Searchers abandon hope of finding twin sisters who vanished

By PETER HUGHES ADELAIDE: The Sydney Morning Herald

Saturday, December 30, 1989

 Police and emergency workers abandoned a land and air search yesterday for twin sisters who vanished from a tiny, rugged island off South Australia this week. They told the twins father, Mr Bob Hagerstrom, of Port Augusta, they believed one of the women had slipped from cliffs on Neptune Island or got caught by a wave, and that the other may have plunged in to try to save her. The twins, Anita and Sonja Hagerstrom, 23, set off on Wednesday to explore Neptune Island, a lighthouse rock jutting from the Southern Ocean south of Port Lincoln. Sonja had lived there for about 18 months, revelling in its solitude. She was familiar with what her father calls the "rotten big waves" that can suddenly snatch anything in their way as they pound the island coastline.

Anita had just arrived for a Christmas holiday with her twin. Their walk was to be a four-hour ramble they told lighthouse keeper Bob Beckwith to expect them back at 7. At 6.30, the crayboat which brought Anita to Neptune, and two other boats working in the waters around the island, saw the sisters trekking around the jagged edge of its 1 4 hectares. I feel our kids are gone," Mr Hagerstrom said yesterday, his voice breaking. "If one of them got into trouble, it's likely the other would have jumped in to help.

"You can gauge the water on the coast for half an hour and it looks safe, but when you go near the edge in the 31st minute a rotten big wave will come down on you. "We presume that it was a wave, or a slip or an accident of some sort that the second one going in had a chance of helping her sister," he said. "Depending on the circumstances, I would hope that they weren't foolhardy in that one wouldn't go if the other one was absolutely lost. "They would have known about those waves you can't predict them. That's what makes them so dangerous that's just what we're guessing has happened to the girls." When the pair failed to return at 7 on Wednesday, Mr Beckwith scoured the tiny island for them before raising the alarm in a radio message an hour later.

After police completed a final aerial search vesterdav. thev said thev believed the sisters had drowned after being washed out to sea. Sonja had been living on the island with Mr Beckwith. The couple were due to leave for New Zealand on holiday next Thursday. Mr Hagerstrom and his wife, Kay, lived on Kangaroo Island, in the same stretch of sea as Neptune Island, for 16 years.

They were on holiday there when the news that the twins had vanished reached them late on Wednesday night.