City of Bunbury

Search for underground shipwrecks to start in Bunbury

Excavation will begin to dig up a ship buried in Koombana Bay


From Bunbury Mail

Excavation of two possible shipwreck sites on Koombana Drive will start next week.

As reported in the Bunbury Mail in August, the excavations will be carried out by the City of Bunbury and marine archaeologists from the WA Museum.

The purpose of the excavations is to identify several anomalies found during magnetometer and ground penetrating radar surveys commissioned by the City of Bunbury in 2009.

These anomalies could be the remains of shipwrecks known to have been lost in the area which was the shoreline in 1896 and has since changed significantly due to port and harbour development.

City of Bunbury chief executive officer Andrew Brien said prior to any decision on future use of the land it was necessary to investigate whether the anomalies were of maritime significant and therefore covered by the WA Maritime Archaeology Act.

We need to investigate whether the anomalies are of maritime significance and if so, to understand the extent of any buffers that could be required,” Mr Brien said.

If any maritime material is found it will be recorded and the sites backfilled and returned to their pre-excavation condition. This is the best way to preserve shipwrecks.”

The City of Bunbury has been working closely with the WA Museum for months in preparation for the excavation.