Mystery Shipwrecks

Julia Sumerling/Silentworld Foundation

Mystery Shipwrecks

Wrecks of three mystery 19th century trading ships found off Queensland Coast

Posted on 20.01.2017

A team of researchers from the Australian National Maritime Museum and the Silentworld Foundation have discovered three shipwrecks in the Coral Sea.

The wrecks, estimated to be at least 150 years old, were discovered during a week-long expedition to Kenn Reefs, 520 kilometres north-east of Bundaberg.

James Hunter is the curator of maritime archaeology at Sydney’s Australian National Maritime Museum, and was one of 11 people who undertook the expedition.

Notorious reef caused many wrecks

“To look down at the seabed and to see an anchor sitting [there] and to see something someone hasn’t seen probably since that shipwreck occurred, it’s magic, it’s an amazing thing,” Dr Hunter said.

The Kenn Reefs are a 42-square-kilometre string of submerged coral atolls located about half way between the Queensland coast and New Caledonia.

The reefs were notorious among 19th century sailors; a previous expedition undertaken by the Queensland Museum in 1987 found nine other wrecks in the same area.

A map printed in 1859 even describes the southern end of the reef as being “strewed with wrecks”.

“During the 19th century [Kenn Reefs] weren’t very well charted and people were out sailing, and depending on the conditions, would end up running into them,” Dr Hunter said.

“In some instances [sailors] never even saw them before it was almost too late.”

Most of the shipwrecks found along the reef are from 19th century trading vessels on their way north to Jakarta, India and as far away as England.

Source
ABC News

Share

FacebookTwitter

Have a story to tell or news to share?

Let us know by Submitting a News Story

Discover Queensland

Explore all of Queensland’s adventures.

Start Exploring

What's On

Sep

07

Pinnacle Sports Vertical Rescue Course

Learn to be capable of implementing an effective rescue
Read more

Sep

14

One Day Fun Day

A Free Day of Fun For 10,000 Australian Kids and Carers
Read more

Sep

15

7 Days, 7 Stories

7 inspirational stories from The MarkAbility Group
Read more

Latest News

Cooloola Great Walk

GET INVOLVED!  Closes August 22

Read more
Rail trail rolls closer to Yeppoon Foreshore

$455,000 extension to the Pineapple Coast Rail Trail

Read more
Walking plan aims to make great strides for Queenslanders’ health

The heart of the state’s first ever Walking Strategy

Read more

Become a member

QORF welcomes applications for new Community and Green Circle Members from organisations and individuals involved in the outdoors

Learn More
Tail Lights by Georgina Pratten