Rottnest Island- South side

 

Miwok II

GPS: S 32° 00.857'

         E 115° 33.558'

Location: Bickley Point, Rottnest

Site depth: 11 metres

Divable conditions: <2m swell

Visibilty: 10-15 metres

Vessel: Barge

Construction: Steel

Tons: 237 tons

Vessel length: 33 metres

Wreck event: Scuttled 1983

Virtually unknown for the last 30 years, the former crane barge that was used for construction by Hamersley Iron in Dampier, has sat in 11 metres of water east of Bickley Point practically unknown by local divers. Very little information has been available on the wreck site. 

The 33 x 13 metre barge was sunk and used by the Special Air Service Regiment in 1983 after a request by the Museum for an alternative site to the RMS Orizaba for underwater demolitions training by SASR and NAVY divers.

 

Lady Elizabeth

GPS: S 32° 01.082'

         E 115° 32.950'

Location: Dyer Island, Rottnest

Site depth: 8 metres

Divable conditions: <1.0m swell

Visibilty: 10-20 metres

Vessel: Barque

Construction: Composite Wood/Steel

Tons: 658 tons

Vessel length: 48 metres

Wreck event: Wrecked on reef 1878

On the 25th of June the Lady Elizabeth begun its fateful journey departing Fremantle for Shanghai heading out to sea in less than ideal weather. The barque had cleared Rottnest and was well out to sea when in bad weather the ship was beaten back south on its voyage and on the 30th the Captain decided to turn the ship around and head back to the safety of Fremantle. On returning to port a crew member was lost overboard and in the poor conditions a boat could not be launched to effect a rescue. During the evening the Captain sighted what he thought was Parker Point and attempted to sail the ship through south passage in the failing light, shortly after the vessel struck the reef near Dyer Island and begun to break up and lose its cargo.

The wreck of the Lady Elizabeth lays in around 9 metres of water on the western side of Dyer Island. Two thirds of the wrecked composite built barque are located on the sand extending southward with the stern hard up amongst the nearby reef. Being on the south side of the island and adjacent to a number of nearby breaking reefs the Lady Elizabeth is best dived in a low swell under a metre and in an easterly wind. The site is generally regarded to have great visibilty sometimes up to 20 metres.

Shark

GPS: S 32° 00.824’

         E 115° 32.487’

Location: Bickley Bay, Rottnest

Site depth: 2.5 metres

Divable conditions: <1 metre Swell

Visibilty: 2-8 metres

Vessel: Barge

Construction: Steel

Tons: Unknown

Vessel length: Unknown

Wreck event: Set adrift and grounded

 

One of the most accessable wrecks on Rottnest, the Shark lies just off the beach in Bickley Bay easily visible from shore. The Hopper Barge was adrift from Fremantle when it went aground on the south side of Rottnest in 1938.

The Shark makes for an easy snorkel in good conditions. For visibility to be good, a few days of low swell and offshore winds give the site a chance to clear up. Given its close proximity to the beach that is exposed to the ocean swell the site can stir up very easily and it is most comfortably snorkelled in a swell under a metre. This is also to avoid any surge around the jagged rusting edges of the shallow wreck.

 

Salmon Bay

Unidentified

GPS: S 32° 01.774'

         E 115° 30.173'

Location: Salmon Bay, Rottnest

Site depth: 26 metres

Divable conditions: <1.5m swell

Visibilty: 10-25metres

Vessel: N/A

Construction: Iron

Tons: N/A

Vessel length: N/A

Wreck event: Unknown

Discovered by a member of the public and inspected by the museum in 2002. The site is located in deeper water around two miles off Salmon Bay. The site has very little visible wreckage on the small limestone reef besides a boiler of good condition, a propeller and shaft, and two unknown pieces of wreckage laying north east of the boiler. The boiler and shaft are thought to be possibly a surplus power plant for a ship that was to be dumped at sea, but scuttled before its destination, perhaps on its way to the Rottnest Deep Water Graveyard.

At a depth of 26 metres the Unidentified site offers the deepest wreck related dive at Rottnest Island outside of the Rottnest Graveyard sites. A few miles out from Salmon Bay the dive site generally has clearer water but offers little protection on the surface and is best dived in light winds and a swell less than 1.5 metres. The wreckage sits atop a small hill like reef surrounded by sand with a few ledges to the north of the boiler.

Other wreck sites with little remains on the south side of Rottnest.

 The Raven site sits just south east of Dyer Island, the Raven was lost in 1891 and very little remains of the wreck besides some hull sheathing, fastenings and ballast stones spread around hidden by kelp on a flat reef seafloor . A museum plinth is placed nearby at 32° 01.197' E 115° 33.196'

 

The Kiryu Maru I was a Japanese longliner wrecked at West End in 1984. Most of the wreckage sits beneath dangerous breakers in all swell and is not accessible. Nearby at Cathedral Rocks near a population of New Zealand fur seals, some small and scattered pieces of wreckage can be seen on the seafloor in a few metres of water. The channel at Cathederal Rocks should only be entered in very low swell conditions.