Shipwreck Databases Western Australian Museum

The North Mole Dredge: A survey of an unidentified wreck

Author/s Postgraduate Students

Year of publication 1990

Report Number: 46

The wreck of an iron dredge located off the North Mole, Fremantle, was selected for surveying as part of the 1990 Maritime Archaeology Graduate Diploma course. The dredge was chosen for its accessibility, its raised profile above the seabed (with the possibility of three-dimensional surveying), and with the intention of researching its history and confmning its identity.

The North Mole dredge is important archaeologically as there is a dearth of written information regarding vessels of this type. Much information must therefore be obtained from oral sources and photographic evidence before these sources are lost. Dredges have largely been ignored in historical literature, as they were considered 'mundane' and common. Their importance in the functioning of ports has largely been ignored, and few details recorded.

The North Mole dredge is a popular recreational diving spot, largely due to the ease of access and the abundance of marine flora and fauna around and on the wreck (Appendix I). While important recreation ally, members of the diving community know little about the role the dredge played in the shaping of the Fremantle port. One of the intentions of this survey, therefore, is to raise public awareness of this wreck, and thereby increase public participation in the preservation of Western Australia's submerged heritage.