Photo Glenn Duffus
By Nick Moncrieff-Hill - Southern Courier
A still winter’s day has given a group of lucky snorkelers a window into the maritime history of Maroubra.Usually known for its above surface delights Maroubra showed off one of its hidden gems recently in the wonderfully preserved wreckage of the Hereward.
The 1,513 tonne, 254 foot iron clipper built in Glasgow in 1877 made frequent trips between London and Sydney as a trading ship with general cargo.Until, on a trip from the Dutch East Indies to Newcastle on May 5 1898 to load coal for South America, the Hereward was whipped by 47 mile per hour winds onto the northern end of Maroubra beach.Thousands of sightseers visited the wreck before it was sold for 550 pounds. Then after several attempts to refloat her, the Hereward was eventually broken in two by the Maroubra surf.Maritime archaeologist at the Australia National Maritime Museum Kieran Hosty confirmed the shipwreck was likely that of the Hereward. “There are three known shipwrecks on Maroubra Beach; the Belbowrie 1939, Tekapo 1899 and the Hereward 1898,” Mr Hosty said.“The photographs show part of the lower hull and side of a late 19th century early 20th century iron or steel hulled ship.“The absence of an engine, boiler and propeller seems to indicate that it was a sailing rather than a steam vessel ... I suggest the remains belong to the iron sailing ship Hereward.”The photographer, Maroubra local Glenn Duffus said the conditions to view the wreck were the best he’d seen them for years.