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Wanneroo Coast Shipwrecks

Wanneroo Coast Shipwrecks

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Published by draculavanhelsing
fact sheet
fact sheet

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Categories:Types, Research, History
Published by: draculavanhelsing on Jul 11, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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European mariners visited the coast adjacent to the Cityo Wanneroo long beore the British established the SwanRiver colony in 1829. The earliest known wreck is theDutch United East India Company ship,
Vergulde Draeck,
oundered in 1656. Only 75 crew reached shore with aew 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 ocer andnavigator o 
Waeckende Boey
and 13 sailors came ashorenear Wanneroo Beach where they ound wreckage rom
Vergulde Draeck
but no sign o survivors. Unable to returnto their ship because o oul weather, and abandoned bythe skipper o 
Waeckende Boey,
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 beore the arrival o the British settlers, thisregion was visited by whalers. Ater the establishment o weeks later, on May 2 the ship’s anchor chain broke andthe unlucky vessel drited 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 saety. 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 sae.
WH-301 Gemini
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
WH–301 Gemini
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 inormation about
please contact local charter operators.
The three–masted wooden barque,
was built inQuebec, Canada in 1848. In April 1852 this ast and graceulship 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 intendedor 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 oshoreree, 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 werered 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 beore 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 arteacts 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 LieSaving 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 ironrames 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 inormation 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 oten hazardous. Access to some wrecks requires aboat. Divers need to be t and qualied. 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.

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