Shipwreck Databases Western Australian Museum

Survey of the Port Coogee Development Area

Author/s J.N. Green

Year of publication 2006

Report Number: 213

IntroductionThe Port Coogee Development involves the construction of breakwaters and dredged channels in an area approximately 500 m offshore extending from latitude 32.096718°S longitude 115.759217°E south to the 32.104926°S 11 5.671788°E (note all latitude and longitude are given in decimal degrees and in WGS1984 datum); a distance of about 1 000m (see Figure 1). At the north end of the development the position of two important wreck sites are known: James (1830) and Diana (1878); at the south end of the development the remains of the iron steamship Omeo (1905) are still visible (for the background history of these three vessels see Appendix 1). Since the development is in an important historical anchorage area, Owen Anchorage, there is a possibility that other, undiscovered wreck sites exist in the area of the development. It was, therefore, a requirement under the Historic Shipwrecks Act 1976 that the area be investigated for underwater cultural heritage material. In addition, sand pumping or sand by-passing has been proposed as a long-term management solution for the effects that the breakwaters may have on the coastal shoreline. Since the three wrecks lie in an area that is likely to be affected by the coastal changes and the sand pumping, some baseline data was required to identify precisely where the sites are located and their current positions relative to chart datum. Additionally, historical research was carried out to try and identify other material that was known to have been located in the general area.