News

Divers revisit the Keilawarra wreck

Photographer Mark Spencer has revisited the 126-year-old shipwreck of the Keilawarra off the coast of Arrawarra. The ship's telegraph is still in the full-astern position.
Photographer Mark Spencer has revisited the 126-year-old shipwreck of the Keilawarra off the coast of Arrawarra. The ship's telegraph is still in the full-astern position. Mark Spencer

IT stands encrusted in marine life, as a stark reminder of the lives lost at sea in one of Australia's greatest maritime disaster.

For 126-years the telegraph of The Keilawarra, the 61-metre iron steam ship that sank near North Solitary Island has risen from the ocean floor suspended in the full astern position.

For photographer Mark Spencer, who revisited the 19th century shipwreck again at the weekend, the telegraph along with the ship's stern offers a haunting insight into the ill-fated voyage.

"The propeller shots I took also show the stern has dropped down over the propeller, such that the prop is now inside the stern," Mark said.

"This is an emotive area of the wreck because it was the area where people clung when the ship was sinking Titanic-like with the stern out of the water."

The Keilawarra was bound for Brisbane when it impacted with a smaller steamer, The Helen Nicoll on the night of December 8, 1886.

Historical accounts say "smoke from the funnels had partly obscured the view ahead, as both vessels maintained full steam."

In scenes later echoed by the sinking of the Titanic, the Keilawarra plunged into the depths just seven minutes after impact.

It took with it some 40 people, while the badly damaged Helen Nicoll limped back to shore.

The Keilawarra last made headlines in February 2010, after Mark Spencer revealed the ship's safe had been plundered by thieves, thought to be professional shipwreck salvagers.

Rediscovered in 73-metres off the coast of Arrawarra in 2000, the wreck was studied for 30 minutes by this latest dive team before their arduous two-and-a-half hour decompression ascent.

Mark Spencer will announce plans to conserve artefacts from the Keilawarra at a SURG (Solitary Islands Underwater Research Group) discussion at the National Marine Science Centre on June 6 at 6.30pm.

For more information go to www.markspencer.com.au

Topics:  conservation, shipwreck, wooli



Can people power deliver Kmart to the Clarence Valley?

A Kmart store in Sydney. Residents crying out for a Kmart store has become a common theme in the Clarence Valley. (AAP Image/Paul Miller) NO ARCHIVING

Repeated calls for retail giant falls on deaf ears

Clarence Valley Interactive Magpie Evasion Map

Magpie breeding season is here, so look out for swooping magpies over the next couple of months.

One less reason to avoid Kicking The Kilos this spring

Wages of sin and other blights on government spending

PUBLIC SECTOR PERKS: Salary variation usually equates to what a person contributes, but not always.

Wages of sin and other seemingly acceptable rorts

Local Partners

Homer Simpson thanks Australia during Opera House visit

Homer Simpson visits the Sydney Opera House.

ANIMATION favourite gets attacked by seagulls in viral video.

Channel 9 orders second season of Doctor Doctor

Rodger Corser stars in the TV series Doctor Doctor.

RURAL medical drama finds a loyal following.

Katy Perry gets naked to encourage people to vote

Katy Perry in Funny Or Die sketch

Katy Perry has stripped naked for a comedy video

Jogging Tom Hanks crashes wedding in Central Park

Tom Hanks stopped for a selfie with this bride and groom

MOVIE REVIEW: Storks delivers family fun

A scene from the movie Storks.

ANIMATION can be hit or miss but when it hits, it hits hard.

Nick 'the snake' to call the shots on Survivor jury

Australian Survivor contestant Nick Iadanza.

LATEST evictee is out of the game but will still have a say.

Clarence Valley property prices go through the roof

Buyers are hungry to sink their teeth into the Clarence Valley

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

Couple build their own 'tiny house' for $45k

Holly Bowen and Oli Bucher built their "tiny house" themselves, only hiring a plumber and an electrician. Photo/supplied

The house, which is built on a trailer and can be towed.

Sunshine Beach property breaks real estate record

The property overlooks Sunshine Beach, as the backyard lawn meets the sand.

Sunshine Beach mansion sale smashes real estate record

NEW HOME: Agents to the rescue for family of nine

RELIEF: Tanya Cone (middle) with her kids and McKimm's Real Estate property managers Regan Firth and Nadine Greenhalgh who helped find her family a home.

DEX article prompts property managers to help family find new home

SOLD: Historic hotel finds new owner

Post Office Hotel Grafton

Photo Adam Hourigan / The Daily Examiner

Pub in new hands and heading in a brand new direction