Shipwreck Databases Western Australian Museum

Proposed search area for the Hero of the Nile, 2003

Author/s M. Gainsford

Year of publication 2003

Report Number: 175

The Hero of the Nile Built in West Cowes, England was of wooden construction with copper fastenings. The vessel was in sand ballast on the voyage from Melbourne bound for the Lacepede Islands to pick up a cargo of Guano. On 19 October 1876, the captain estimated the position of the vessel as 31 Nautical iles (55 km) off Cape Bouvard. With the wind behind the vessel and full sails set, Hero of the Nile steered a course north-east towards the Rottnest Lighthouse. Early on the 20th the land on the lee prompted an alteration of the course to north-west. Hero of the Nile struck Becher Point (Long Point) at 2pm that day and sank as a consequence.

The Hero of the Nile wreck was located by the Underwater Explorers Club ca. 1960 by Harold Roberts (and company) and its location was noted on Chart BA 1058. The site was then surveyed by, Roberts and company, in 1966 producing a basic plan of the remains. On the 16 January 1974 the Museum also conducted an inspection: S. Sledge and company. Since this time the wreck’s location has been lost. In 1994 the MADWAM conducted a magnetometer search to relocate the site, but failed to find it.

The author after interpreting all the evidence believes the wreck to lie just outside the area searched in 1994. This is based on all position and search information provided by the above authors on the subject. Through a combination of techniques (including magnetometer, side scan and diver tow surveys) it is expected that the wreck can be relocated. A new GPS position will be ascertained and a site survey/inspection conducted, time permitting.