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Buried treasure in Bunbury

By Kevin Kelly

A unique discovery has been made off the coast of the booming Koombana Drive, and it could draw people into Bunbury rentals if more treasures are uncovered.

The shipwreck is suspected to be the Samuel Wright, which was wrecked in 1840. The archaeological team will continue to examine the site over the coming days to determine the nature of the find, and to confirm exactly what ship the WA Museum Department of Maritime Archaeology discovered in north Bunbury.

Finding history in Bunbury

National and international interest has been sparked upon news of the finding, and archaeological experts are discussing the significance of Bunbury increasing the number of shipwrecks in the city to 29.

"The interest in this shipwreck has been amazing and archaeologists on site said the find has attracted national and international interest," said Bunbury mayor Gary Brennan.

"The team from the WA Museum has done an incredible job as they painstakingly sifted through the site, which has been an enormous undertaking."

After work has been finished on the site, it will be carefully covered with sand again, as that will provide protection from the elements to the wood and other artefacts, allowing it to be preserved for longer.

Samuel Wright adding to a legacy

Prior to being wrecked in 1840, the Samuel Wright had in fact visited the city in 1837 as a whaling vessel, according to the Museum of Western Australia. On 8 July 1840 the ship was wrecked after an anchor chain was broken and before a replacement could be deployed the vessel struck the beach at Koombana Bay and has been there since.

Of the 29 wrecked ships off the coast of the city, all are thought to be whaling vessels from North America and are seen as some of Bunbury's most significant historical markers.

The discovery could be a great boost for houses to rent in Bunbury as interested parties converge on the region for the possibility of finding their own piece of history.

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