Heritage Victoria has recently received new information relating to undiscovered maritime heritage. One of these is the anchor lost by George Bass during his voyage of exploration in 1797-98 and the other is the wreck of an unknown whaler.

Map of Yoyages of Bass and includes bass 1797-8, Bass and Flinders 1798-9, Van Diemans Land and Sydney (Port Jackson). Map outlines the voyage.
Voyages of Bass
Source: Project Gutenberg Australia

In 1797, George Bass set out on a voyage of exploration that saw him map the Victorian coast leading to the discovery of Bass Strait. He later sailed with Matthew Flinders around Tasmania.

On 21 December 1797 Bass landed at Wingan Inlet in East Gippsland, to replenish his water supply. When returning to sea, his anchor became stuck in the sand, and he had to abandon it. The report received by Heritage Victoria contains information on the probable location of the lost anchor.

The other report received by Heritage Victoria States that in the 1960s abalone diver John Black discovered what may be the wreck of an early nineteenth century whaling vessel in Mueller Inlet within Croajingolong National Park, East Gippsland. Whaling was a major maritime industry in Victoria which began before the settlement of Melbourne in 1837 and continued until it was banned in the 1970s. Very few whaler wrecks have ever been discovered.

Heritage Victoria welcomes the involvement of the diving community in identifying the exact location of shipwrecks and artefacts.

Discoveries can be formally acknowledged by Heritage Victoria with the inclusion of the discovery in official records and the awarding of a certificate.

Both reports can also be found on the Shipwreck Discovery Program.

Page last updated: 12/07/23