Shipwreck to reveal our history

Paul Hundley of the Australian National Maritime Museum

By Patrick Caruana From - The Courier Mail

The Royal Charlotte brought convicts to Australia, carried troops to India and, as a wreck, served as a warning beacon for other vessels. 

Now scientists want her to help them understand early 19th century trade between fledging colonies.

The only problem is she's been under water for more than 180 years.

The Indian-built ship ran aground on Frederick Reef, northeast of Gladstone, on June 11, 1825, killing two people.

A party was sent to Moreton Bay, while the rest of the ship's 100 passengers soldiers and their families scraped their way to a sandy coral quay, where military discipline and ingenuity ensured their survival for six weeks before help came.

It's a remarkable story, which an expedition is trying to complete as they search for the The Royal Charlotte's remains.

The two-week expedition, led by Australian National Maritime Museum marine archaeologist Kieran Hosty, will depart Gladstone today.

Mr Hosty said the crew would search an area of shallow water 26km by 7km.

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