Adventure & Misadventure

The unwritten endings to the stories of ships lost at sea.

A ship floods. Tilts. Water rushes through cargo holds, up corridors and devours the deck in a relentless wave of inevitability. Water stirs all around now, the vessels fate sealed. As the sea swirls and claims, the ship is lost, slips below the surface and disappears down into the inky depths.

It’s only moments. The surface settles, before all trace is gone.

Thousands of shipwrecks are cradled on the worlds ocean floors. They are part of the fabric of our shared past, testament to our human culture of endeavour, enterprise and journey. They bear witness to events of history: of warfare, commerce, adventure and misadventure. Beacons from a specific place in time, shipwrecks are custodians of the events, stories and context surrounding more than just their physical remains.

But lying desolate in the immeasurable blackness of depth, shipwrecks are never as lonely as this sounds.

Hulls that once braved the waves now form an iron cliff for colonies of coral polyps. Gallies and boiler rooms are now home to an infinite variety of fish and marine life who find shelter and protection here. A single wreck lives a new life as an artificial reef, becoming the frame for a whole vibrant eco-system, as an island now teeming with life in a desert sea.

The Sydney Project invites you to share the adventure of discovery – select a wreck from the drop-down menu to learn more about our expeditions, as we seek to discover the secrets of lost wrecks, and to write the missing chapters of their stories.



The broken bow of the coastal steamer Wear, which sank on September 8, 1944, about 9 miles off Montagu Island in 120 m depth. The Wear collided with MV Anatina. All her crew were rescued but one seaman suffered fatal injuries. The Wear was bound for Newcastle to load coal. Both vessels were locked together for about 10 mins, but the Wear was almost cut in half and sank immediately when they were separated. One lifeboat was launched, and her crew of 56 spent a short time in the sea before being rescued. Length 268 ft (81m), Built Sunderland, England in 1911. 1,892 tons gross, 1086 tons net. This photo shows the split in the bow part of the ship where presumably the Anatina hit. The remainder of the shipwreck is substantially intact with the bridge having largely collapsed. Frits Breuseker models.