There are approximately 1800 shipwrecks along the 1100 kilometres of the NSW coast. These range from Eliza, lost in 1797, to modern vessels, and include a large variety of size, propulsion and use. Of this number only approximately 270 lost vessels have been discovered. Many of these were washed ashore, with remnants occasionally visible at low tides. Most of the known offshore shipwrecks that have become popular dive sites were found by the fishing and trawling industry from net snags and small fish agglomerations, or found by the select few who made the effort to go out and discover new wreck sites.
As modern hydrographical equipment comes into everyday use, there is a greater possibility to detect wrecks using these methods.
What we are trying to achieve
We are private individuals devoting our own money, time and effort to the aim of discovering wrecks along the New South Wales coast. This is an interesting challenge, both in the historical search (trolling old newspapers, libraries, court records, etc.) and in spending time out on the vast open ocean for the pleasure of discovering and diving new wreck sites.
We are not a commercial entity, or trained survey or oceanographic professionals. We are just a couple of slightly eccentric divers fulfilling an aspiration. As such, all assistance is greatly appreciated, and has already been of great value in our learning curve.
Both Scott and Steve have a strong belief in openness. All of the information that we have gained is available for others to use. Anyone with the will and passion may search for undiscovered wrecks, and our congratulations go to any who make the attempt.
All historical information gained has been added to Wikipedia so that it may be used under a share and share alike licence.
The positions of known shipwreck sites are hosted here, and it is hoped that this list can be added to and refined through the input of others.
We will endeavour to make all newly discovered sites public at the earliest possible time.