Wreck of the Dunbar, 1857: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunbar_(ship) The Sydney Morning Herald, Thursday 7 July, 1910.
ALL FOUR LOCATED.
TWO RECOVERED YESTERDAY,
INTERESTING RELICS OF THE WRECK.
Two of the anchors of the ill fated ship Dunbar, which was wrecked near Sydney Heads 63 (53) years ago next month, and by which over 300 (121) lives were lost, were secured yesterday. Two other anchors were also located, but time would not permit of these being raised. Their position is such, however, that they can be recovered with ease, if found desirable. In addition to the anchors, copper bolts and other portions of the vessel were also recovered, and a general survey made by a diver of the scene of the wreck.
The work of securing the anchors was
undertaken by a party of gentlemen residents
of Watson's Bay. and Messrs. Edward Dunn,
Harold Dunn, Harry Dunn, and Samuel Toyo,
of the pilot service and South Head signal
station, were given charge of the work.
The salvage steamer Federal, In charge of
Captain Davidson and Pilot Anderson, was
engaged. No better day could have been
chosen for deep-sea work. The sea was
remarkably smooth, and as the wind was off the
land, blowing hard from the north-west, the
high cliffs protected the steamer and those
on board from any ill-effects.
By the time the whole of the gear was got
on board and a start made from the lifeboat
shed at Watson's Bay it was 10 a.m., and an
hour later the steamer was being moored
fore and aft by an anchor from the stern and tow lines from the shore.
THE WRECKAGE LOCATED.
The position of the wreckage was soon
located by the men from the pilot service,
who were in small boats, and had the use of
a water-glass. The anchors could be seen
from the steamer by those with a keen eye
for nautical work. They were found about
200 yards south of Jacob's Ladder, right
underneath the military fence, and about 60ft out from the ledge of rock upon which Johnstone, the only survivor of the wreck, was
discovered on the morning following the night
in which the vessel struck. The depth of
water at this particular spot is about 20ft.
The bottom Is a rough one, full of rocks, many
standing eight and nine feet high.
DIVER AT WORK.
As soon as the steamer was properly moored
over the anchors, Diver Anderson went down
to make a survey. He quickly returned, and
reported that there were four anchors lying
in a heap, with a large amount of cable chain
and hose-pipes around them. Two of the
anchors were very large. It was decided to
have a pull at the big anchors. The hauling
gear was attached, and the donkey-engine set in motion.
Although the machinery strained, and the
steamer lurched over as if to help; yet the
anchors would not move. The diver had
another look, and reported that the rocks had
almost grown over the anchors. He, however, thought ho could get a small one, which was apart from the others.
KEDGE ANCHOR HAULED UP.
In ten minutes the first of the Dunbar
anchors made its appearance on the deck of the steamer.
It was a small kedge anchor, weighing about
15cwt. It had but one fluke, the other having
decayed and broken off. The stock and the anchor shackle wero also gone. The remainder of the anchor was in a good state of preservation, considering that it had been 63 (53) years under water. It was covered with a rocky coral substance and with marine vegetable matter. An effort was then made to get a second anchor, but it was found impossible to move any of the others. Consequently dynamite was used and this was effective.
BIG ANCHOR HAULED UP.
Within 20 minutes after the shot had been
fired, and a good deal of amusement provided
for those in the vicinity to get fish which had been destroyed by the effects of the explosion, the chains were once more hauling at something very weighty, and an immense anchor, weighing nearly four tons, made its appearance above water. It was soon got on board.
Everybody was astonished at the size of the
anchor, and also its wonderful state of preservation after being buried in the sea tor
over half a century. Every part of it was
complete, though, of course, much eaten away,
and most of it was covered with a growth and
a hard rocky substance similar to that found on
the kedge anchor. The shank of this immense
anchor was 13ft long. The wooden stock had
rotted away, but the ring and the anchor shackle were complete, and the wooden forelock, made from oak, was still in the shackle.
One of the links of the anchor chain was
attached. Having got this large anchor safely on board, it was decided to have lunch :)
THE WRECK SURVEYED.
Early in the afternoon the diver made a careful survey of the whole scene of the wreck, going as far south from where the anchors were found as the length of his air-pipe would allow. He found a good deal of copper and iron plates of the old ship lying embedded in the rocky bottom. During his tour of inspection Diver Anderson had to climb over rocks nearly as high as himself, and had to wander between other rooks too high to climb over. He managed to bring to the surface such portions of the wreck as a breast hook, a boat davit, pieces of copper, which had formed the lining of the ship's large copper bolts, ring bolts, and last, but not least, a piece of a china saucer, which was embedded between the anchors. It was very old fashioned :), and for pattern was of a yellow ground with a green flower. From the position this piece of china was lying in it was believed to belong to the crockery of the ill fated ship.
Night was now coming on. It was decided to suspend operations, and to return to town with at least a significant trophy of the wreckage of the Dunbar. The anchors were landed on the military wharf at Watson's Bay.
During operations the movements of those
on board were watched by a large gathering
of people from the dizzy heights above.
The two anchors still under water are as
large as the big bow anchor raised yesterday.
One of them is of the same design, and was
probably the second bow anchor of the vessel,
while the other one is of a different design.
It was recognised as a Trotman anchor.
Fascinating period account of wreck exploration and recovery of artifacts. The use of dynamite would be frowned upon in the modern era but certainly achieved its goal.