Wreck-hunter claims 150-year-old find

DIVING NEWS

Wreck-hunter claims 150-year-old find

Undine
Picture: Adam Cropp.

Traces of a shipwreck found near Australia’s Great Barrier Reef have been linked with the mysterious disappearance of a British cargo ship in 1873.

Eighty-four-year-old Australian scuba diver Ben Cropp and his son Adam, an underwater cameraman, found the remains off Sudbury Reef, 45 miles south-east of Cairns, on 20 January. They had been diving to investigate a friend’s sighting of a large anchor.

The divers believe the wreck to be that of the Undine, an 800-ton timber sailing ship. The 56m vessel, built in Sunderland in 1867, went missing in May 1873 after leaving Brisbane in ballast to pick up goods in Foochow, China.

Adam Cropp used a drone to locate the anchor. The two men dived the site and, moving into shallower water about 50m away, found iron frames, a keel and sections of half-buried chain.

Ben Cropp worked as a shark-hunter until 1962 when he took up oceanic film-making and became a conservationist. He has produced some 150 wildlife documentaries.

He also ran a shipwreck museum for 20 years and now searches for uncharted wrecks, his ultimate goal being to find one that predates Captain Cook’s arrival in Australia in 1770.

2 February 2020

Cropp claims to have found more than 100 wrecks over half a century, the best-known being HMS Pandora, the 18th-century Royal Navy warship dispatched in pursuit of the Bounty mutineers and sunk in the Torres Strait, in 1977.

More recently, in 2015, he found Napoleon Bonaparte’s getaway ship Swiftsure off Queensland.

biggest

LET’S KEEP IN TOUCH!

Get a weekly roundup of all Divernet news and articles 🤿

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Related Divernet Posts

Diver Magazine Relaunch

Diver magazine needs YOU!

Are you still lamenting the demise of Diver magazine? Well now you can help resurrect an icon as we seek to bring back the magazine

Turtles of Raja Ampat

Turtles of Raja Ampat

The Raja Ampat Creature Feature Series: Turtles Raja Ampat is the perfect diving location to find four of the seven ocean turtle species of the

manta ray and diver over reef in Komodo

Divers pitch into Komodo manta probe

Manta rays choose to stick around Indonesia’s Komodo National Park in unusually large numbers – and, according to a new diver-led study, this community could

female diver holding pair of Fourth Element Tech fins

Tech fins inspired by humpback whales

Whales provided the inspiration for optimising efficiency in Fourth Element’s latest fins, according to the Cornwall-based manufacturer. The “turbulence disruptors” on top of the blades

Last Breath portrait of Woody Harrelson

Woody dives into Last Breath remake

A new version of the British documentary-thriller that captured the imaginations of divers in 2019 is about to be previewed at the Cannes Film Festival.

Follow Divernet on Social Media