According to The Mercury newspaper, the channel "..... was discovered on April 20. 1792, by the celebrated French "Vice-Admiral Bruni D'Entrecasteaux, who, in the ships Recherche and Esperance, was searching for ill-fated La Perouse. Visiting Van Diemen's Land for the first time, he was attempting to find an anchorage in Adventure Bay, when, being himself ill in bed, the ships' navigators entered the channel to the west of Bruny Island, instead of going to the eastward of it. Thus, the discovery of the great channel was due to an accident. This is Labillardiere's account of the matter. A wrong bearing taken of the Mewstone accounts for the French navigator's error.