Saturday, 27 February 2016

SEARCHING FOR THE WARATAH WRECK

The Advertiser (Adelaide) Monday 20 December, 1909

.................or she has gone down in such 
circumstances as would prevent wreckage 
being washed ashore A mariner of long 
experience whom I met at Port Elizabeth 
made a statement which has an important 
bearing on the question. He said that there 
were many indications that the AguIhas bank, 
which extends for some distance from the 
south-eastern and southern coast of Cape Colony, 
is a quick-sand. If this be the case, it would
swallow up the remains of any wreck that
occurred in its immediate vicinity, and no
trace of the disaster would remain to show
what had occurred............

If the wreck of the Waratah lay readily exposed on the seafloor, there is a strong possibility that she would have been discovered by now. This extract highlights the challenges confronting any team searching for remnants of the wreck off Cape Hermes, or elsewhere. From what I understand, the challenge identifying wrecks beneath the seafloor (covered in sediment) relates to differentiating iron in rock from that of a steamer hull, using a magnetometer. This paper gives an important insight into the complexity of the task:

 http://www.academia.edu/6581795/REMOTE_SENSING_TECHNIQUES_IN_THE_SEARCH_FOR_ANCIENT_SHIPWRECKS_HOW_TO_DISTINGUISH_A_WRECK_FROM_A_ROCK_IN_GEOPHYSICAL_RECORDINGS



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