News

Historic wreck under threat

A HISTORIC shipwreck exposed by storms at Belongil last month is walking away, piece by piece.

Wreck at Belongil.
Wreck at Belongil. Contributed

NSW Office of Environment and Heritage historic branch director Petula Samios said the wreck had become something of a tourist attraction since it was unearthed by ex-tropical cyclone Oswald and there were now reports of people taking pieces of it away as souveneirs.

"The wreck is a protected historic shipwreck under both the Commonwealth and State law and survives as a fragile part of our maritime archaeological heritage," Ms Samios said.

"The remains, which are exposed within the beach sands of Belongil Beach on Byron Bay's main foreshore, have become a local tourist attraction and we are concerned by reports that some people are carrying away timbers and copper alloy fastenings from the exposed timber hull.

DID YOU KNOW? There are 215 known shipwrecks on Northern Rivers alone? Click here for more information on shipwrecks. 

"It is an offence to damage the archaeological site and associated relics, or to remove anything from the wreck site.

"Penalties up to $1.1m or six months jail can apply."

While the identity of the wrecked ship remained a mystery, Ms Samios said it was believed to be one of four vessels wrecked at Byron during "huge gales" that hit the area in July, 1889.

"In total seven vessels were lost from Byron Bay south to Coffs Harbour during the 1889 storm event," she said.

"The wreck comprises the lower hull of a sailing vessel with outer hull planking and internal frames exposed for about 30 metres in length.

"The hull contains both timber and copper alloy fastenings and copper sheathing (thin plates) that protected the hull, making a mid-late nineteenth century date most likely.

"The discovery provides another glimpse into the fascinating maritime history of our State. These sites form a part of the fabric of our coastal and riverine communities and deserve to be preserved and for their stories to be remembered."

Ms Samios said maritime archologists from the office, aided by staff from the Cape Byron Marine Park, had been monitoring the wreck since its unearthing was reported by Byron Bay resident Greg Thompson and the Ballina Naval and Maritime Museum.

Topics:  belongil shipwreck storms tourism weather



Cats prowl for new Starlettes with auditions

Alessandra Salisbury (middle right) with the current Starlettes cast for their adaptation of Cats.

"I use different music and choreography in an adaptation of Cats”

Tigers look to rebound against 'Pies on the road

EARNING HIS STRIPES: Glen Phelps impresses with three goals on debut against Byron.

"I'm really impressed with the effort from our guys”

Strassman takes aim at the modern world

PUPPET MASTER: David Strassman returns with brand new show, iTED E in May.

"America elected an idiot president because of social media”

Local Partners

Deborah Conway's old meets new for Good Times

Celebrated artist's career still going strong

Cats prowl for new Starlettes with auditions

Alessandra Salisbury (middle right) with the current Starlettes cast for their adaptation of Cats.

"I use different music and choreography in an adaptation of Cats”

Anthony LaPaglia steps out with new fiancee

Anthony LaPaglia.

Actor Anthony LaPaglia engaged to much younger girlfiend

Ronan Keating a dad for fourth time

Ronan Keating and Storm Keating.

Bouncing baby boy for Boyzone star

Lion King remake well under way

Seth Rogen.

More Lion King remake cast members revealed

Splendour auctions VIP passes for flood appeal

Crowd at Splendour in the Grass 2016.  Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

Each pass will have a reserve price of $500

Affordable rentals out of reach for North Coast residents

Rental affordability hits new crisis levels

Falling rents could spell doom for housing prices

What if I told you housing in Australia was getting cheaper?

Grand historic farming estate in Mullumbimby

37 Myocum Rd, Mullumbimby

Check out this week's feature property.

Couple gets rich renovating run-down city homes

RENO RADICALS: Baden and Nelson Marino-Hall have turned three Toowoomba homes around for profit, saying the Garden City was a haven for renovators like themselves.

The couple has already turned around three homes

Townhouse pitch raises questions over 'high density'

BIG PLANS: Residents have a chance to offer their opinion on plans to build 42 townhouses at Raceview.

Developer plans 42 townhouses for Ipswich suburb

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!