Shipwreck Side Scan Images - Paddle Steamer Herald

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

Wreck Site

The wreck is located at a depth of 26 - 27 meters of water with the exposed wreckage is over about an area of 3m by 4m .

It is on sand away from any reef structure and completely intact but significantly buried under the sand. It is a small site with just the 2 Boilers (about 800 – 1000mm dia by 2.5m long approx) a broken engine and Paddlewheel shaft (shifted by about 1m to the starboard) visible above the sand line. The shape of the bow and stern can just be made out to give the overall length of the vessel. We have measured bow to stern tiller posts (dual rudders) which was exactly 72 feet long.

The image below indicates the main components of the wreck

PS Herald Wreck layout

The image below is from the starboard side showing boilers and paddle wheel shaft

Rear of boilers near anchor side view

The image below is from the rear of the boiler looking up between them over the motor to the paddle wheel shaft

Looking forward along boilers motor between to paddle wheel shaft

PS Herald

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.

Sidescan of Unidentifed Launch

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