The Wreck of the Sygna - Stockton Beach, NSW

Kim Roper

Sydney, Australia

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The Sygna
The wreck of the Sygna lies on Stockton Beach, evidence of the strength and unpredictability of nature. The stern section of the 53 000-tonne Norwegian bulk carrier rests twenty kilometres south of Anna Bay. Standing upright and firm only a hundred metres into the surf, her remains are remarkably intact considering the pounding she has received each day for over twenty years.

On 26 May 1974, the Sygna was anchored four kilometres east of the port of Newcastle waiting to load fifty thousand tonnes of coal for Europe. A gale warning had been issued and seven of the ten ships waiting off the port had weighed anchor and moved out to sea. The wind was 165 kilometres an hour when the Sygna raised her anchor at 1 a.m. Even with engines at full power, the Sygna was unable to get her head into the wind. In only half an hour she had drifted sideways eleven kilometres and grounded a hundred and thirty metres off the beach. As soon as the storm and the seas subsided, the heavy stern settled in deeper water-breaking the ship in half. A helicopter from the Williamtown RAAF Base lifted the crew of twenty-seven off the stricken vessel with no loss of life.

The empty bow section was dragged off the beach and sold for scrap. The Sygna’s stern is now a popular surfing and fishing spot. Four-wheel drive vehicles can drive to the wreck from either Lavis Lane Williamtown or from the beach access point at Anna Bay.

Port Stephens Web Site

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Artwork Comments

  • Andrew Bosman
  • Sharon Hammond
  • Andrew Brown
  • Lass With a Camera
  • Brad Sumner
  • Mel Brackstone
  • Per E. Gunnarsen
  • Kim Roper
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