HIPWRECKS OF THEWANNEROO COAST
European mariners visited the coast adjacent to the Cityo Wanneroo long beore the British established the SwanRiver colony in 1829. The earliest known wreck is theDutch United East India Company ship,
oundered in 1656. Only 75 crew reached shore with aew provisions. Seven sailed to Batavia or assistance, leaving68 survivors stranded on a barren shore. Over the next ewyears, every VOC ship passing the Western Australian coastwas ordered to search or signs o the castaways. In March1658, Abraham Leeman van Santwits, rst ocer andnavigator o
and 13 sailors came ashorenear Wanneroo Beach where they ound wreckage rom
but no sign o survivors. Unable to returnto their ship because o oul weather, and abandoned bythe skipper o
Leeman set sail or Bataviain an overloaded open boat. He and three sailors survivedthe journey. A plaque on a limestone obelisk at the end o Marcon Street Two Rocks, marks Leeman’s Landing, theplace where Leeman and his men came ashore.
Twenty years beore the arrival o the British settlers, thisregion was visited by whalers. Ater the establishment o weeks later, on May 2 the ship’s anchor chain broke andthe unlucky vessel drited to its present position, only 270metres rom the same beach where it had been previouslystranded. Eventually it
was sold or scrap. In October 1969,a re broke out while salvors were dismantling the hulk andthey were orced to swim to saety. Over the last 30 yearsthe wreck’s hull plating has collapsed, exposing the interioro the hold and the bridge. Due to the weakened state o thehull structure, the wreck is not considered sae.
also known as
one o two identicalsteel hopper barges built in 1962 and registered as
In 1980 the 36.5 metre barges were joinedto orm a pontoon drill barge or a dredging company inNew South Wales. At a later date the ‘twins’ were separatedand eventually sold to Mr D. Ceray o Western Australia.In 1993
was sold to a local charter boatoperator to create a recreational dive site or advanceddivers. The barge was towed by the Naval tug
to asite near Two Rocks Marina and scuttled. In the process o sinking, the hull capsized and now lies on a sandy seabed in30 metres o water. For more inormation about
please contact local charter operators.
The three–masted wooden barque,
was built inQuebec, Canada in 1848. In April 1852 this ast and graceulship o 469 tonnes sailed rom Gravesend, England underthe command o Capt. Bennett with 23 passengers and20 crew. It was carrying a cargo o general merchandiseand a consignment o 65,000 gold sovereigns intendedor the Government o the struggling Swan River colony.Eight more passengers embarked at Capetown or thevoyage to Fremantle. As everyone aboard celebratedthe last night o the voyage,
struck an oshoreree, losing its rudder. Westerly winds drove the strickenvessel over the rst line o ree and onto another, 1 kminshore. Here, the vessel stuck ast. The ship’s guns werered to raise the alarm but to no avail. The next morningthe captain gave the order to abandon ship. Salvors madedesperate attempts to retrieve the valuable cargo and all thesovereigns were recovered beore the wreck was broken upby winter gales. A subsequent investigation revealed thata navigational error and negligence on part o the captainwas responsible or the disaster. The wreck lies on QuinnsRocks Ree 2.4 kilometres rom Eglinton Rocks. Delicatedrinking glasses and other tableware rom the wreck aredisplayed at the Gloucester Lodge Museum at Yanchep.An anchor and other arteacts can be seen at the WesternAustralian Museum Shipwreck Galleries in Fremantle. GPSlocation 31° 38.54' S 115° 39.53' E.
Built in 1874 in Nova Scotia, Canada as a three-mastedwooden barque, the 1,087-tonne
was converted oruse as a hulk in 1906. It was lost on August 17, 1917 whilebeing towed away or scuttling. The tow-line parted and thehulk disappeared somewhere o Halls Bank, pushed alongby a strong south westerly wind. Iron ramework and asection o decking that may be rom
lie 20 metres o Ocean Ree Beach, 1 km north o Ocean Ree Marina. In1913 the ship’s bell was presented to the Cottesloe Sur LieSaving Club or use as a shark alarm.
The 25-year–old iron brig
was wrecked onDecember 9, 1874 on Centaur Ree North Beach, (about 24km north o Fremantle). It carried a cargo o 200 tonnes o galena (lead ore) and our passengers. Capt. Brabham gavethe order to abandon ship and in about 25 minutes, all handshad taken to the boats. The 191–ton
was built inAberdeen in 1849. The wreck lies in the Marmion MarinePark, on the southern end o Centaur Ree at a depth o 7-9 metres. On the port side o the wreck, sections o ironrames and hull plating stand 2 metres above the seabed.Small amounts o galena can be seen scattered over the site.GPS location 31° 51.8' S 115° 42.66' E.
For urther inormation on historic shipwrecks contact the WA Museum ShipwreckGalleries or the WA Heritage Council:http://www.museum.wa.gov.au/collections/maritime/march/march.asphttp://tourism.heritage.wa.gov.auBy M. J. Lapwood, Year 10, Craigie Senior High School. Work experience, WAMuseum, December 1992. Updated by Jessica Berry, Tracey Miller and Jessica Reynolds,WAM 2008.
Diving notesWrecks are oten hazardous. Access to some wrecks requires aboat. Divers need to be t and qualied. Persons diving on these sites doso at their own risk. A diver must show a dive fag. Do not dive alone orleave the boat unattended. Persons diving on these wrecks do so at theirown risk. These wrecks are part o Western Australia’s heritage. They areprotected under legislation. Please enjoy them but
do not disturb them.