Current News

6th October 2014 Twin Screw Tug Yamba found in 73m of Water

On Monday Myself, Geoff C, Damien S, Vic P and Dave W found and dived a new wreck off Sydney. The Wreck is located approximately 6.5km straight out from Sydney Harbour in 73 meters of water at 33 50.828'S 151 21.103'E (WGS 84 DD MM.mmm)

Location of the Wreck Yamba

The wreck was located by looking though some scanned paper records data collected by NSW public works form a survey in 1982 (downloadable part 1 and part 2 see - Block 8 Target 29 in the doc) as well as a record that came through recently of a 2002 scan near the same area (the two points were about 350m apart although the 1982 work was done pre GPS using radio signals from the shore for location fixes and the 2002 location was about 45m from where we dropped the shot) 1982 Data on LHS below 2002 Data on RHS below

Yamba SSS image

The Dive and Dive Site

The wreck shows up low on the sounder but with some fish life we were soon had a shot line down. The ocean was nice and the visibility was good on the surface with a bit of a murk layer mid water and then reasonable visibility (say 8-10m) on the bottom albeit dark. The wreck has somewhat held together and sits upright with most of the sides of the vessel still pointing towards the surface and has a length of 28m. Some shots of the wreck big thanks to Damo

Shot of the Bow

Shot of the overhung Elliptical stern with the rear part fallen the seabed

Andreas' Wreck

As we found this wreck on the 6th of October the one-year anniversary of Andreas premature death on the wreck of Limerick and diving off the boat, he co-owned it only feels right that we should mark this well-known wreck enthusiast by calling the newly discovered wreck Andreas' Wreck

3rd October 2014 Small Fibreglass Runabout Found

We did a dozen dives on various targets in the harbour and we found this small fibreglass run about between the Sydney Harbour heads in about 18 meters of water. It is about 4.2m long with an outboard still on the back of the boat

Additional objects

We found several other objects

April 2014 Brick Barge "Success" Salvage Site Found

Sydney Ports Data

In the first week of April we received some data from Sydney Ports to review, one of the first targets that stood out was a large mound or pile about 16 meters long by 8 meters wide with an additional section coming out to 12 meters width the whole pile was coming up off the bottom approximately 1.2 meters

The Lump as approximately 160 meters west of the wreck of the Centurion near Quarantine Bay at 33° 49.050'S 151° 16.759'E (WGS 84 DD MM.mmm)

Barge Brick Pile Salvage Site

The Dive Site

We went and dived this anomaly and found the whole thing was one very large pile of bricks with no other visible wreckage (unfortunately we had done almost a dozen dives earlier in the day and so the GoPro battery was dead and we didn’t get any footage). I would consider diving this again but as more of a reef dive and as a bit of general interest.

Upon arriving home and doing a search through trove we discovered a newspaper article from the Sydney Morning Herald on Tuesday 17 March 1931 which stated

Hopes are now entertained for the recovery of a brick-laden barge, which sank between the Heads more than three weeks ago whilst being towed to Manly. It was located on Sunday morning, and a tug was anchored to it to mark the position. Yesterday a diver went down, and succeeded in attaching a towline, and, by the late afternoon, the barge had been lifted from the sea bottom, and is now being held In position below the surface.
SMH 17 March 1931
Hard Hat Diver on Brick PileSMH 17 March 1931

Quarantine Bay Fibreglass Boat

Ealier on the same day whilst clearing out targets from our side scan search for the Kate we had alsso found a 7 meter modern boat off Quarantine Bay at 33° 48.767'S 151° 17.007'E (WGS 84 DD MM.mmm). This is a small site and not really worth a dive although a video of this site can be seen below

March 2014 Discovery of the Light Cruiser HMAS Pioneer off Sydney

HMAS Pioneer

In March we were following up on some data we obtained from the CSIRO's Southern surveyor on a potential target approximately 4 km off Sydney in 67 meters of water at 33 51.850'S 151 19.844'E (WGS 84 DD MM.mmm)

HMAS Pioneer location

HMAS Pioneer was a 93 meter Pelorus-class light cruiser built for the Royal Navy at the end of the 19th century. She was transferred to the fledgling Royal Australian Navy (RAN) in 1912. During World War I, the cruiser captured two German merchant ships, and was involved in the East African Campaign, including the blockade of the cruiser SMS Königsberg and a bombardment of Dar-es-Salaam. She returned to Australia in late 1916 and was decommissioned. Pioneer was used as an accommodation ship for the following six years, then was stripped down and sold off by 1926. The cruiser was scuttled outside Sydney Heads in 1931 Wikipedia Entry Australain Navy Entry

The Wreck site

The scuttled vessel lies in 67 meters of water and is large running from the North West (the stern) to the South East (the bow). There is quite a bit of still intact structure and the wreck standing off the bottom ranging from 2 to 5 meters. Due to its impressive length and takes a considerable time to swim

HMAS Pioneer Bow HMAS Pioneer Stern 1 HMAS Pioneer Stern 2

A video of the wreck running from Stern to Bow can be seen below

December 2013 Small Coal Barge found off Dobroyd Head

Recently we have side scanned an area off Dobroyd Head through to Quarantine Bay in Sydney Harbour in the search for the Kate (still yet to find)

During this scanning we have identifed a small wreck of a small steel, some what flat bottomed (most likely square drop down front similar to a landing craft) barge 9m long by 2.5m wide (measured) and comes up off the bottom at the most approximately 600mm

It was obviously an older Coal Barge (there is a large Coal debris field to the East of the wreck that can be seen in the video on the side the anchor was positioned.

Side scan image of the Shannon's Dobroyd Head Coal Barge

Side scan image of wreck Dobroyd Head Coal Barge Side scan image of wreck Dobroyd Head Coal Barge

October 2013 Wreck of the Iserbrook found off Sydney's off Lady Macquarie's Chair

Recently we have been reviewing some of the DSTO shallow water conference side scan data from 2003 and we noticed a number of small potential anomalies off lady Macquarie’s chair which we dived on the 12 October 2013 and found to be the remanets of the Brig Iserbrook.

Side scan image of the Iserbrook

Side scan image of wreck Iserbrook

Dark blue lines 10m grid cyan lines 5m grid

Indicative Location

Location of Iserbrook

All GPS locations are posted on the Shipwreck Database page

The Iserbrook was a brig of 33.6 meter 208 tons built in Hamburg in 1853 and sold into Australian service in 1874

It was initially used to bring a German assisted migration to South Australia setting up much of the initial German population of the Barossa Valley as well as Trips to North and South America. It was used to make several trips to the South Seas (Guam, Truk, Samoa) as a pearler, trader and potential blackbirder

It caught fire, sank, raised and then was used as a hulk or barge until it sank again carrying pig Iron much of this pig Iron was then salvaged by contemporary divers (about 30 tonnes were left aboard) and finally it was demolished using charges.

Image of the vessel as it appeared on a sailor's mug

The wreck is in approximately 14 meters of water.

The only visible signs of wreckage were several pieces of Iron about 300mm by 300mm by 1500mm and some piece of mechanical equipment as well as several areas of what appeared to be almost shell "middens" which are associated with where the wood has had shells growing on it but as the wood rotted only leaving a pile of shells.

Iserbrook wreckage

For more History on the vessel look on wikipedia at Brig Iserbrook

Video of the Iserbrook

May 2013 The Schooner Colonist found in Sydney Harbour


On Sunday Night / Monday Morning (12/13 May 2013) at 1:30 am we slipped into the harbour

‘About three cable lengths off Bradley's Head’

‘The collision occurred exactly half way between Garden Island and Bradleys head’

‘The collision took place between Bradleys Head and the north of Garden Island about three and a half cable lengths from the former point not quite halfway between the two’

Basically positioned on the Northern side of the Southern Channel

Colonist location

We descended to a silty bottom in 20 meters of water and found the muntz metal outline that originally clad the outside of the hull and a pile of basalt which was the final cargo of blue metal from Kiama. The bow can still be made out (basically pointing to the harbour bridge) and some concreted near here which is most likely anchor chain. More information on the vessel can be found on Wikipedia

Colonist 3D bathy

Past Newletters

Please feel Free to download our past Newsletters

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Dowload Past Newsletter 5 (July 2014)

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Dowload Past Newsletter 4 (May 2013)

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Dowload Past Newsletter 3

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Dowload Past Newsletter 2

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Dowload Past Newsletter 1


January 2013 Paddle Steamer Herald found off Sydney North Head

We have been reviewing a number of other people’s data (magnetometer, Side scan and multi beam) for potentials wrecks. While doing this with some DSTO Cesium magnetometer data collected in 2000 we noticed a potential magnetic anomaly which we dived in January 2013 and found the small Paddle Steamer Herald .

All GPS locations are posted on the Shipwreck Database page

Indicative Location

Location of Unidentifed Wrecks

The Iron paddle steamer Herald was imported as frames from the UK and assembled in 1855 by Richard Johnson in Sydney Harbour, NSW, where it was registered. Making the small narrow Herald one of the earliest iron paddle wheel steamers built in Australian.

Image of Paddle Steamer Herald

The vessel operated over most of Sydney harbour. The Herald was initially used on the fledgling North Shore route between Dawes Point and Blues Point by the newly formed North Shore Steam Company. However after several years, there was not enough traffic to make her financially viable so she would often detour en-route to perform tug duties - passengers were required to wait. Eventually the company was wound up and the vessel put up for sale but continued picking up business wherever it was available.

As was normal at this time she operated as a tug, ferry, and excursion boat and cargo vessel.

On April 1st, 1884 the Starboard boiler blew out while the Herald was waiting to bring in a sailing ship about 400 yards from North Head causing the vessel to be lost.

For more History on the vessel look on wikipedia at Herald Paddle Steamer