NSW Department of Planning

Training for shipwreck buffs

The anchor, possibly from a 140-year-old shipwreck, which was removed from the Richmond River spit at Ballina

By Dominic Feain - Tweed News

Far North Coast shipwreck spotters keen to hone their skills will be eligible for an internationally-recognised training course in the next few months.

The man responsible for NSW shipwrecks, the deputy director of the Heritage Branch of the NSW Department of Planning, Tim Smith, said depending on public interest, he planned to run two courses on the North Coast early next year.

“The North Coast is a real hotspot for shipwreck discoveries with its big coastal rivers and their steamer heritage,” he said.

Volunteers are being offered a two-day internationally-recognised Introduction to Maritime Archaeology Training Course, accredited by the Australasian Institute for Maritime Archaeology and the Nautical Archaeology Society.

Minister for Planning Tony Kelly said the wreck spotters program allowed volunteers to work alongside marine arch-aeologists in the identifying, mapping and promotion of shipwreck sites in their local communities.

“The need for their proper identification and handling has been underlined by two recent examples on the state’s North Coast. In October the stemson from a 120-year-old wreck was moved from a beach on the Tweed, and itremains missing,” Mr Kelly said.

“And in November an anchor from what could be a 140-year-old wreck was removed from the Richmond River spit at Ballina. Fortunately, it has now been recovered and will take its place in the State’s maritime heritage.”