Shipwreck Databases Western Australian Museum

Précis of the wrecks in the ship’s graveyard, Rottnest

Author/s D. Garratt

Year of publication 1999

Report Number: 148

This report does not contain an abstract.

Précis of the wrecks in the Ship’s Graveyard, Rottnest
Redundant vessels have been scuttled in the deep water SW of Rottnest Island since 1910. The ships graveyard is encompassed within the area of Lat. 32° 00’S to 32° 05’S, and Long. 115° 10’E to 115° 23’E at a depth range from 50 to 200 m. Seabed of sand and shell with scattered rocky outcrops. The graveyard is host to a wide spectrum of material, from utilitarian, barges and dredges to the remains of graceful clipper ships ended their days as coal hulks in Fremantle Harbour before being scuttled.

Remains of historical significance include vessels intimately linked to the social and economic development of Western Australia, as well as the wreckage from two World Wars. Apart from ship remains, the graveyard was also used as in the 1940’s as a dumping ground for aircraft and military machinery that had to be disposed of as a requirement of the wartime “Lend Lease” agreement.