Beach erosion reveals 157-year-old find
Beach erosion at Victoria's Inverloch Beach has uncovered the remains of a 157-year-old shipwreck.
The remnants belonged to the Amazon - a vessel carrying salted meat which was set to sail from Melbourne to Mauritius on December 12, 1863. Two days later the ship washed up on Inverloch Surf Beach, 147km southeast of Melbourne, after it was caught in a storm on the Bass Strait.
According to the Inverloch History Society, the crew were forced to camp on the beach until December 21 when they were spotted by local man, known only as Mr Heales who was travelling to Melbourne for Christmas.
Speaking to Nine, Amazon 1863 Project Inc secretary Karyn Bugeja has called the wreckage "the most significant shipwreck on Victoria's coast".
"There has been a lot of locals walking on the beach trying to keep themselves fit and healthy, and everyone is just amazed with what they are seeing," Ms Bugeja said.
"We always thought we were looking at the keel of the ship but Heritage Victoria has confirmed it is the stem of the ship which is the bow at the front, which is where the figure head would have been placed."
There are plans to preserve the wreckage artefacts in a museum and locals have been asked to stay away.
"I don't think people are aware of the value of the shipwreck, it is the most significant shipwreck on Victoria's coast and it is the only wooden shipwreck so we have to respect it and appreciate what we have in Inverloch," Ms Bugeja said.
"We would just encourage people that the only thing they take away are photos and memories."
Wild weather in August 2019 first began to expose never-before-seen parts of the wreckage. Previously parts of the wooden structure were only visible during low tide.
Maritime archaeologists at Heritage Victoria Peter Harvey and Maddy McAllister told the ABC the decorative fragments of the ship would be reburied further up the beach, in an area less prone to erosion.
"Our plan is to recover some of the more fragile parts of the wreck that have become exposed and take them away from the beach to store temporarily in a salt water bath," said senior maritime archaeologist Mr Harvey.
According to Ms McAllister, of the 600 recorded shipwrecks in Victoria, the remnants of the Amazon is on Heritage Victoria's list of the top 20 most significant and at-risk shipwrecks.
Originally published as Beach erosion reveals 157-year-old find