sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : Tasmanian Shipwrecks
Tasmanian Shipwrecks

'Shipwreck diving can be a fascinating experience.'    Carl Hyland    Click Here to view large photo

As an island colony and later state of the Commonwealth of Australia, Tasmania has always been fundamentally dependent on shipping services to connect it to the outside world. However, lying in the path of the winds known as the 'roaring forties', the waters around Tasmania have proved treacherous to mariners. Since the wreck of the ship Sydney Cove in 1797, around 1,000 vessels of all sizes are known to have been lost in Tasmanian waters up to the present day.

Although the locations of less than 10% of these shipwrecks are presently known these sites are important parts of our national maritime heritage, a unique gift from our past. While many shipwrecks can only be visited by suitably qualified divers material may also be seen on the sea shore or in tidal zones. Many shipwreck sites are often left unlocated or undisturbed for years and some natural processes of decay and decomposition are stopped or substantially slowed in the underwater environment. For these reasons shipwreck sites are time capsules which can open a window into history.

Old shipwreck map -  Carl Hyland   Click Here to view large photo

Two laws protect the remains of shipwrecks in Tasmanian waters. The Commonwealth Historic Shipwrecks Act 1976 applies to Australian Commonwealth waters extending from the low water mark to the outer edge of the continental shelf. The State Historic Cultural Heritage Act 1995 applies to shipwrecks that lie within the state waters of Tasmania (harbours, enclosed bays, estuaries, rivers and lakes).

Under both these Acts all shipwrecks and their associated artefacts which were lost over 75 years ago are automatically protected. Shipwrecks that occurred less than 75 years ago may also be individually protected under these Acts if they are considered to be significant. In special circumstances when a shipwreck is considered highly significant or vulnerable a 'Protected Zone' may be declared around the site, requiring a permit from the management authority to enter. There are currently no 'Protected Zones' in Tasmania.

In all instances members of the public are welcome to visit shipwrecks provided they do not collect artefacts or otherwise disturb or damage the sites. Underwater sites are often quite delicate and even apparently small disturbances can result in considerable long term damage. Under the current laws it is illegal to interfere with a protected shipwreck site without a permit from the managing authority.

Both laws require discoveries of a shipwreck or the possession of artefacts from protected shipwrecks to be reported.

Many wrecks lay around the Southern part of Tasmania. -  Carl Hyland   Click Here to view large photo

Listed are eleven shipwrecks that have occurred in Tasmanian waters during the last two hundred years:
Sydney Cove
Cataraqui
Litherland
Brahmin
Cambridgeshire
Bulli
Tasman
Svenor
Nord
Otago
Alert

Of course, the most recent shipwreck to occur was the Iron Baron which ran aground on Hebe Reef at the mouth of the Tamar on 10th July 1995.

The Iron Baron, aground in the mouth of the Tamar River. -  Carl Hyland   Click Here to view large photo

The Iron Baron, a 37,557 dwt BHP chartered bulk carrier (built in 1985) grounded on Hebe Reef at the approach to the Tamar River, northern Tasmania at 1930 hours (7.30pm) Eastern Standard Time (EST) on Monday 10 July 1995. The vessel had departed from the NSW port of Port Kembla on Saturday 8 July 1995, with a 24,000 tonne cargo of manganese ore that had been loaded at Groote Island, bound for the BHP owned TEMCO facility at Bell Bay which is located some 12 km inside the Tamar River estuary and within the port of Launceston. Weather conditions prevailing at the time were north westerly winds of 20-25 knots with two metre seas.

Shortly after the grounding, it was confirmed bunker fuel oil had escaped, which was later estimated at around 300 tonnes. The ship's crew were safely evacuated, whilst National Plan response arrangements were initiated. Weather conditions deteriorated and with the prevailing tidal conditions, oil impacted shorelines in the vicinity of Low Head. There was significant impact on wildlife, particularly little penguins.

Whilst work continued to refloat the casualty, clean up of affected shorelines was underway. A large wildlife collection, treatment and rehabilitation program was established at the pilot station complex at Low Head, north of George Town.
The ship was refloated on Sunday 16 July 1995, and the vessel moved to an anchorage, some two miles offshore. The Port of Launceston Authority imposed a number of conditions to be met in relation to port safety and environmental protection, before the vessel could enter port.

There was further oil released from under the ship following the refloating, some of which was successfully collected at sea whilst some impacted Bakers Beach and the Rubicon River estuary in the vicinity of Port Sorell. Several Bass Strait near shore islands were impacted at some locations. These islands were also the scene for a concentrated wildlife collection effort.

Underwater inspections and onboard assessments confirmed major structural damage had occurred and with the ship's condition reported to be deteriorating, and adverse weather predicted, BHP as the ship owner, decided to dump the vessel. The Commonwealth Environment Protection Agency approved a disposal site some 53 miles east of Flinders Island. After towing to the dumping area, the Iron Baron sank around 1930 hours (7.30pm), Sunday 30 July 1995.

Most losses around the Tasmanian coast have been smaller vessels that have been blown ashore while sheltering from heavy weather, or grounded attempting to negotiate the exposed entrances to ports around the coast. In more recent years most accidents, whether they be to small yachts or fishing vessels, or large interstate steamers and motor ships, can still generally be put down to navigational and control errors of one type or another. The most spectacular of these was the bulk carrier Lake Illawarra's collision with Hobart's Tasman Bridge in 1975, resulting in the loss of the ship and twelve lives, and uncounted expense and inconvenience to the unexpectedly divided city. Others have come as the result of stress of weather, especially in Bass Strait.

Historic Australian Shipwrecks website


by Carl Hyland

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=96949

4:46 PM Mon 7 May 2012GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.







News - USA and the World



Volvo Ocean Race: Update from Team Vestas Wind in images by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz,






Audi Melges 20 World Championship - Classic Garda conditions on day 2 by International Audi Melges 20 Class Association,
























Audi Melges 20 World Championship - Alessandro Rombelli's 'STIG' leads by International Audi Melges 20 Class Association,




























Aldo Alessio Regatta - Three days of tight racing by Erik Simonson, Pressure-Drop.US,






International 18ft Skiff Regatta underway on San Francisco Bay
Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 2014 - Quality fleet for Maxi Classic
Sailing Champions League - which is Europe's best sailing club?
Weta fun at the Wine & Roses Regatta
Extreme Sailing Series: The Wave, Muscat claims victory on Cardiff Bay
International 14 World Championships 2015: Not just for boys
Rio de Janeiro achieves 50% treatment of sewage outflow *Feature
2014 AWT Quatro Desert Showdown - Event memorable videos
2014 18' Skiff Int Regatta: Day 1 at San Francisco - Reversal on beach
Emirates Team NZ: Last race boost cannot save team from table bottom
PWA Alacati World Cup - Furious slalom is upon us
J/111 World Championships - The Winner is Shmokin Joe!
J/24 US National Championship - Victory for Will Welles’ Cougar
Extreme Sailing Series: View the Final Day's action - Replay
NYYC Grandmasters Team Race - Reign continues for Noroton Yacht Club
WSSR announces new World Record Around Britain and Ireland
IFDS Worlds 2014 - Final day photos by Tim Wilkes
2014 Detroit Cup - Morvan wins
Newport Bucket Regatta 2014 -Images by George Bekris
IFDS Worlds 2014 - Final report: USA qualifies for Rio 2016
Extreme Sailing Series: Absent With-Out Leave – Ben Ainslie Racing   
2014 IFDS World Championship - New champions claim medals   
2014 IFDS World Championships - Sunday’s race images by Tim Wilkes   
Shark World Championships underway in Toronto   
Anna Tunnicliffe: Alinghi second o'all - Extreme Sailing Series, Day 3   
Formula Kite World Championships - Nocher and Bridge crowned Champions   
Emirates Team NZ: Frustrating Day 3 in Extreme Sailing Series, Cardiff   
Extreme Sailing Series: Light winds help The Wave Muscat - Day 3   
Extreme Sailing Series 2014 Act five - Absent without leave – the wind   
IFDS Worlds 2014 - Images: Race day five   
Herreshoff Classic Regatta 2014 - Images by Ingrid Abery   
Youth Olympics - Gold to Argentinean and Chinese Techno 293 racers   
Youth Olympics Games Nanjing - Double Youth Olympic Gold for Singapore   
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race 2014 - Two Handers celebrate   
Audi Melges 20 U.S. National Championship 2014 - Brazilian dance party   
IFDS Disabled Sailing Worlds Day 5 - USA fighting for Rio 2016 Berths   
J/111 World Championship 2014 - Day 4: Shmokin Joe consolidates lead   
Anna Tunnicliffe: Alinghi on top - Extreme Sailing Series, Day 2   
2014 IFDS World Championships - Breezy frustrations   
2014 Detroit Cup - Down to the final four   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL VIR US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT