Sunday, December 16, 2012

Excelsior and Jupiter wrecks

I have posted a series of photos of both the Excelsior and Jupiter wrecks located in Mutton Cove, South Australia at

Friday, November 30, 2012

USS Revenge

According to, U.S. Navy Lieutenant Oliver Hazard Perry lost his ship, the USS Revenge, on a stormy January night off Rhode Island’s Watch Hill Beach. Heavy fog, violent waves and a cold, hard rock took down Perry’s ship.
"Perry detailed the mishap in a letter written to then-squadron commander John Rodgers. After discovering his ship had drifted dangerously close to land, Perry dropped anchor to steady the 75-foot schooner in the frigid winter waters, but the ship tailed around and crashed against a reef. Thinking quickly, Perry cut the anchor cable and tried desperately to catch a gust of wind to propel the ship back into the waters. No wind came and the Revenge was pummeled further up the reef, cracking the hull. His crew tossed eight heavy cannons overboard, to no avail. Realizing the futility, Perry—then only 24 years old—ordered his crew to abandon ship. The next day, Perry and company returned to salvage the schooner, but the angry ocean had snapped it in two. Six cannons were saved, but the Atlantic kept the rest, relegating the Revenge to a small, largely forgotten mark on the U.S. Navy commodore’s career."
Charlie Buffum, the owner of Cottrell Brewing, unearthed the wreckage in 2005. "After years exploring the New England coast, it was an account he read of the little-known Revenge that captured his passion: “What really took my interest was that there was possibly still an anchor down there, and a bunch of stuff [Perry] couldn’t take,” he remembers. Buffum teamed up with Craig Harger, the brewery’s carbon dioxide salesman who is also an avid diver, and struck out in the summer of 2005 to search for the ship along a series of reefs on Watch Hill.
Over a period of four weeks, Buffum and Harger scanned the ocean bed with a metal detector, not far from a freighter wreckage popular with local divers. On their third dive, the duo began to question their efforts—then the metal detector started to sing. Buffum looked down to find he was standing at the base of a large metal object covered in barnacles. After closer inspection, the two realized it was a cannon. “If you ever watch the old cartoons when their eyes are bugging out, that’s what it was like,” remembers Buffum. “If you could jump up and down under water, that’s what we’d be doing.” They discovered two cannons that day, the first of many remains from the Revenge.
For the next six years, Buffum and Harger kept the discovery a tightly sealed secret. They continued to explore the wreckage, uncovering six of the eight possible cannons left behind, the ship’s anchor and a series of other artifacts. Although the location of the shipwreck was mainly hidden—heavy currents and rising surf kept all but a few spear fishermen out of the area—Buffum was still worried that another intrepid diver would stumble across it. Last January, the 200th anniversary of the Revenge’s sinking, Buffum and Harger decided it was finally time to announce the news. They held a press conference at a hotel in Watch Hill and made headlines." Buffum’s now handed the expedition over to the Naval History and Heritage Command, which deals with researching and preserving shipwrecks.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


A Norwegian group plans to return the 96-year old ship Maud from the Canadian Arctic to Norway. The 3-masted Maud was Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen’s ship. The group has already filmed the Maud trapped in ice in the Canadian Arctic. They plan to salvage and repatriate her for a museum.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

A new shipwreck book written by Paul Wilson

"Downunder - The history of found shipwrecks along the Central and Hunter Coastlines" is a new shipwreck book written by Paul Wilson.  (Source:
"Have you ever wondered about some of the stories of the maritime disasters that have happened along the Central Coast and Hunter Coastlines of Australia? This book visits the individual histories of located shipwrecks along this notorious coastline.
Some of the stories include the tale of the man who survived two shipwrecks. How did Maitland Bay and Susan Gilmore Beach get their names'? What exactly does happen to the ship's cat when the boat goes down? What exactly is the Swansea Channel Wreck mystery? How far did the captain of the Thordis go to rescue the passengers of the Irresistible 1931? What exactly is that mysterious forrested island that can be seen on the Northern side of Stockton Bridge? Where did they find the sole survivor of the Cawarra 1866? and what did happen to the unofficial mascot of the HMAS Parramatta?
The author has risked life and limb in the writing of this book. From the unknown frontier of the nudists beaches along the coast, to the muddy swamps of Hexham, to walking into the local RSL in nothing but a wetsuit. No stone is left unturned in the quest for original sources when researching this book. Please enjoy!" (Source:

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Ethel wreck became exposed in September 2012

The Ethel wreck became exposed in September 2012 for the first time in 6 years. Some big swells carried the sand covering the wreck away. The last time the Ethel was fully exposed was back in 2006. The Ethel had been sailing from South Africa when she ran aground on southern Yorke Peninsula, South Australia on 2nd January 1904 .

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Titanic jewellery collection on tour of US cities

RMS Titanic Inc. recovered a large collection of jewellery from the Titanic wreck site. A display of the collection is now touring 3 US cities.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Photos of the Garden Island Ships' Graveyard

David Sandison took a collection of photos of the Garden Island Ships' Graveyard from the Garden Island bridge during a low tide earlier this year (2012). Five (5) of David's photos can be viewed at
A website giving details about the Ships' Graveyard can be found at

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Saturday, October 27, 2012

The discovery of the "Mars"

Richard Lundgren’s presentation at OZTeK2013 OZTeK - Tek Diving Conference deals with what has become one of the world’s most interesting archeological wreck sites, the discovery of Mars the Magnificent (one that rivals the finding of the Vasa) the largest and most modern warship of its time. With its intimidating dimensions and previously unseen numbers of canons Mars struck fear in any opposing foe. In 1564 Mars led Erik XIV armada of warship in a bold attempt to crush the Danish and Lybish fleets thus ending the Danish dominium of the seas. A brutal naval battle ended in the loss of Mars and more than 1000 braves, Swedes, Danes and Lybish. Richard Lundgren says, "This will be a new presentation with new never before presented materials, illustrations, 3-D models, photos, photomosaic and videos. All in a special OZTeK presentation."

The story of HMS Hermes

Warrick McDonald’s presentation at OZTeK2013, OZTeK - Tek Diving Conference, "Lost Souls at Sea", tells the story of HMS Hermes. On the 9th of April 1942, calamity struck HMAS Vampire and HMS Hermes off the coast of Sri Lanka in the form of 30 + Japanese bombers. After the raid was over, 315 British and Australian sailors were dead and wreckage littered the sea. HMS Hermes lying on its side at 52m is now the graveyard for most of these courageous men. The Vampire is yet to be confirmed as found, although a wreck recently discovered a few kilometres away may solve the mystery of its whereabouts.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Rainbow Warrior anniversary

25 YEARS AGO, Greenpeace’s first Rainbow Warrior ship was towed to the Cavalli Islands to be sunk as an artificial reef and dive wreck on 14th December 1987. The Rainbow Warrior was blown-up whilst docked in Auckland harbour in New Zealand on 10th July 1985. The ship was being prepared for a protest voyage to Moruroa Atoll over French nuclear testing. French Secret Service agents planted two bombs on the ship. The Rainbow Warrior is now a popular dive site at the Cavalli Islands to the north of the Bay of Islands in northern New Zealand. The wreck had been refloated in Aukland Harbour prior to being towed to the Cavalli Islands in 1987 to be re-sunk.


Channel 7 TV’s “Sunday Night” program featured a report about the Japanese Type A midget submarine M24 last month. Details can be found at . A video can be viewed at . A photo gallery can be found at An associated blog can be found at . Also visit the web page found at .


The City Of Adelaide’s huge 9m-long, two-tonne rudder will arrive in Port Adelaide next month. Peter Christopher says that the rudder will be taken on a tour of South Australia. “It will give people an idea of the dimensions of the 1864 ship which carried migrants to South Australia. This is a most significant step in the return of the ship (itself) to Adelaide. In view of delays, beyond our control, in Scotland relating to lifting the ship, the . . . rudder will provide South Australians with their first look at this historic artefact, and give a sense of scale," he said. The rudder was built at Port Adelaide from local timbers - a replacement for the original which was damaged on a voyage from the United Kingdom in 1874. The City of Adelaide was built in 1864 to carry passengers and cargo to Adelaide.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


An American research team has discovered the ship that carried Captain Robert Falcon Scott on his doomed expedition to the Antarctic. The wreck of SS Terra Nova was found by researchers from the Schmidt Ocean Institute while they were mapping the ocean floor off Greenland.

The Sorata

132 YEARS AGO, the steamship Sorata was wrecked near Cape Jervis on 3rd September 1880. The 4014-ton ship was subsequently salvaged two months later. The Duke of Manchester was on the bridge of the ship when it went ashore. The Duke had come to Australia as a Commissioner to the Melbourne Centennial Exhibition. He was a relative of Earl Kintore who became Governor of SA nine years later in 1889.


The late Matthew Gurn’s Fellowship report “Iron Hulled Heritage Vessel Restoration” can be found at .


Stuart Moody, a well-known wreck enthusiast from the Yorke Peninsula, has released a book, “Port Victoria's Ships & Shipwrecks”. The book is of quality paper, 335 pages, approx. 400 photographs, many not out there before, 100,000 plus words and 10-12 maps/charts. While the focus is on the ships and shipwrecks, chapters include, Spencer Gulf, the Outports, Deep-Sea Jetty Proposal, Cape Horners, the Wheat Growers, etc..., the shipwrecks today, etc... There is a soft cover version of the book and a hard cover version. Stuart's postal address is PO Box 259, Maitland SA 5573.


According to the web page found at , the City of Adelaide clipper ship is on course to begin its journey back to Port Adelaide in October.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012


The German submarine U-550 has finally been found by divers after two decades of searching for the WWII-era wreck. The U-550 sank 113km south of Nantucket almost 70 years ago under US attack. A 7-man team located the wreck in deep water with the aid of side-scan sonar equipment.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


In what is believed to be one of the largest finds during a salvage operation, nearly $40 million worth of silver was discovered off the coast of Ireland. Odyssey Marine Exploration Inc., a British salvage company, has stated that it has brought up 43.5 tons of silver from the remnants of the SS Gairsoppa, a cargo ship that sunk during the Second World War. (Source: )


The final resting place of World War I submarine HMS E14 has been found off the coast of Turkey after 94 years under the sea. The E14 was discovered on the seabed off the town of Kumkale, in the eastern Mediterranean - just 800ft from the beach, largely intact. (Source: .)

Thursday, May 24, 2012


The AIMA Shipwreck Photography Competition is continuing in 2012. Visit or for full terms and conditions.


Book your place now! The Australasian Institute for Maritime Archaeology will be offering an "Introduction to Maritime Archaeology" (Part 1) training course to be held on June 2-3, 2012. The course will be held on Flinders Campus in Room 112 (Arch Lab). This is an excellent opportunity for those interested in Maritime Archaeology to learn more about the field. The course is offered through the Australasian Institute for Maritime Archaeology (AIMA) and is internationally sanctioned through the UK-based Nautical Archaeology Society. It is one of a 4-part training scheme and consists of several lectures delivered over a 2-day period in a classroom environment. Subsequent parts in the series (to be offered at a later time, depending on interest) involve the application of acquired skills to actual sites underwater. The cost for the course is $120 for students and $165 for non-students. Upon completion of the Part 1 course, participants will be given membership to the Australasian Institute for Maritime Archaeology, will be registered with the Nautical Archaeology Society and will be cleared to volunteer on many professional maritime archaeological projects. More info can be found on the AIMA website: or email Spaces in the course are limited, so reserve yours now!


Queen Elizabeth re-opened the 19th century British Tea Clipper Cutty Sark, five years after the historic three-masted ship was ravaged by fire. The ship has now been restored to its former glory at a cost of $78.6m. The Cutty Sark will stand at Greenwich Docks in south London.


Three US warships sunk during the Battle of the Coral Sea in World War II have been declared protected historic sites. Heritage Minister Tony Burke said that the USS Lexington, USS Sims and USS Neosho all served as a reminder of the close ties between the United States and Australia.

SUHR is now the SAAS

The SUHR is no longer! SUHR is now the SAAS (South Australian Archaeology Society). The new name was accepted by members at the Society’s Special General Meeting earlier this year. According to the Society’s Facebook page (SA Archaeology Society - SAAS (formerly SUHR) ) “the society is now called the South Australian Archaeology Society Inc. (SAAS). This is an exciting step forward for the society. The new name encompasses all disciplines of archaeology allowing for greater community involvement” and “We are the South Australian Archaeology Society - SAAS (formerly the Society Underwater Historical Research - SUHR). This group is a public group for those interested in South Australia's archaeology, cultural heritage and history. We have recently changed our name from SUHR to SAAS to incorporate South Australia's wide ranging heritage and history. We are planning a big relaunch for the society and some fun and exciting events including a monthly lecture series, quiz night, master classes, field work in association with DENR (SA Dept for Environment and Natural Resources) and we hope to measure some submerged and on land historical anchors for the Big Anchor Project (

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


The 33.3m-long replica of the 18th century sailing ship HMB Endeavour will be open to the public when she visits Port Adelaide from 16th to 23rd February. She will be moored in the Inner Harbour at Port Adelaide, adjacent to Timpson Street.

Royal Charlotte expedition

Almost 187 years ago, the Royal Charlotte ran aground at Frederick Reef, Queensland on 11th June 1825, resulting in two deaths. An expedition is searching for the Royal Charlotte's remains. A two-week expedition, led by Australian National Maritime Museum marine archaeologist Kieran Hosty, departed from Gladstone on 4th January.