Wrecked: a survey of shipwreck sites on the Queensland Coast with Paddy Waterson

Throughout its history Queensland’s treacherous coastline has claimed nearly 1,400 vessels.

Shipwreck on Bribie Island, Queensland ca. 1955. Image number: lbp00169.

The high volume of sea trade coupled with the treacherous nature of our coastline resulted in many vessels being lost or abandoned. Today, these shipwrecks continue to attract attention, both from a historical and a tourism viewpoint. Yet, despite its profile there is much we do not know about our maritime heritage. The Department of Environment and Resource Management (DERM) is conducting a five year survey of Queensland’s historic shipwrecks to draw together all the available information, establishing a more complete picture of where the wrecks are and what they can tell us.

On 20 April as part of its Out of the Port series of lunchtime lectures, in the State Library's auditorium 2, Queensland Government Shipwreck expert Paddy Waterson talked about this project and brought some of these fascinating  stories to the surface.

Paddy points out the large amount of wrecks that dot the Qld coastline.

Paddy is a Principal Heritage Officer with the DERM's Heritage Branch and has worked throughout Queensland, especially in the Far North, Wide Bay/Burnett and South-Eastern Districts. Initially trained as a general archaeologist/historian, Paddy has since completed postgraduate qualifications in forensic osteology and maritime archaeology.

Thanks to Paddy for a fascinating presentation that was greatly enjoyed by those in attendance.

Keep your feet in the water for our next Out of the Port session at 12.30 in Auditorium 2 on 18 May when Dr Jonathan Richards will discuss the topic of Death at the Beach: surf drownings, shark attacks and other marine fatalities in Queensland from 1900-1960.

Out of the Port is an initiative of the John Oxley Library and the Department of Environment and Resource Management's Heritage Branch. Talks are held at the State Library of Queensland on the 3rd Wednesday of every month at 12.30pm in Auditorium 2. Sessions are recorded and made available as webcasts.


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Hi there, can anyone provide information on the ship wreck that was to the south of the Bribie Island Jetty. I spent much of my youth living on Bribie visiting my grand parents, Len and Audrey Reece-Hoyes. I have tried to discover the name and history of this old wreck, but I cannot find anything, apart from from 2-3 old grainy photos. I have my own photos from over the years of fishing from the jetty and would love to know more.RegardsScott Adcock

The ship you're referring to is the SS Cormorant, it is pictured on this page with the caption "Shipwreck on Bribie Island, Queensland. ca. 1955." There isn't much info on it but if you Google "ss cormorant bribie" you may find a few things.

Hi, Just realized that you had replied. Thank you for the information .Have a wonderful dayScott

Thank you.. miss the old days on Bribie.

The 1912 photo at Broadmount is the wreck of the Port Stephen