Shipwreck Databases Western Australian Museum

Wreck Inspection North Coast (WINC)

Author/s Scott Sledge

Year of publication 1978

Report Number: 11

The Museum's responsibility towards Maritime Archaeology includes the inspection and assessment of "new finds", defined as historic shipwrecks, and maritime history sites, and associated relics, whose exact nature or location was previously unknown to the Museum. This is the aim of the Wreck Inspection Programme. Recording of the exact location and basic condition of all known mari time archaeological sites is necessary for a genuine assessment of the State's extant and potential maritime heritage.

Because of the complex logistics of fieldwork investigation over so expansive a coastline, the Australian Research Grants Committee has contributed to this project for three years, 1976-78.

The most remote - and therefore difficult - section of the coast was investigated last, during an 11-week vessel-based operation. The Broomebuilt ex-pearling lugger EWS was used, and, while a low, proved suitable to the task and conditions. At an average speed of seven knots, a large proportion of our time was spent in transit. We could not afford the time to do more than a preliminary study of any site. On the other hand, more than 50 sites were visited, and 28 wrecks recorded.

This report contains a description of the wrecks and historic sites investigated duringt he North Coast (W.r.N.C.) Expedition. Between the beginning of 1976 and the end of this Expedition in September 1978 the Museum's wreck inspection team attended sites in every sector of this State's 7,000 km coastline. The details of more than 100 wrecks have been recorded. Although the Wreck Inspection Programme will continue to function, as new finds are continually being reported, the fundamental aim of the A.R.G.C. - assisted project has been achieved.