How your photos can help document the history of SA’s Ethel shipwreck

How your photos can help document the history of SA’s Ethel shipwreck



Work is under­way to pre­serve the his­to­ry of South Australia’s Ethel ship­wreck. Here’s how you can be involved.


With more than 800 ship­wrecks record­ed along coastal and inland waters, South Aus­tralia has a rich mar­itime his­to­ry.

There are nine mar­itime her­itage trails along the SA coast and Riv­er Mur­ray, both above and below the water, where you can learn about the his­to­ry and archae­o­log­i­cal sig­nif­i­cance of the ves­sels that once tra­versed the state’s waterways.

Our friends at Her­itage South Aus­tralia are work­ing to pre­serve some of that his­to­ry by pro­duc­ing a time-lapse pho­to sequence of one of the state’s most vis­it­ed ship­wrecks, the Ethel wreck.

And the best part is, you have the chance to contribute.

Here’s what we know about the Ethel and how you can be part of the time-lapse project.

About the Ethel

The ship­wreck of the Ethel,711-tonne, three-mast­ed iron bar­que built in 1876, lies on Ethel Beach with­in Dhil­ba Guu­ran­da-Innes Nation­al Park on SA’s Yorke Peninsula.

In Jan­u­ary 1904, while en-route from South Africa, the Ethel ran aground dur­ing a storm, land­ing on the beach above the low tide mark.

The ship remained large­ly intact for many years, slow­ly falling apart over many decades, until the hull final­ly col­lapsed in the mid-1980s.

There’s still plen­ty of the Ethel to see, with many large pieces of rust­ed iron jut­ting from the sand, mark­ing the ship’s outline.

Some­times in win­ter you can even see all of the Ethel’s remains as the sand that cov­ers the wreck is washed away by the heavy weather.

How you can get involved

Her­itage SA wants your footage of the Ethel ship­wreck from over the decades.

Images and videos from Her­itage SA’s archive, and those sent in by you, will be used to cre­ate a time-lapse pho­to sequence of the ship since it wrecked in 1904 until now.

The pho­to sequence will be a visu­al ref­er­ence of the for­ma­tion process for a ship­wreck site, going from intact ship­wreck to dis­persed wreckage.

Dig­i­tal pho­tos and videos can be sub­mit­ted online, and any phys­i­cal media, includ­ing old slides or videos, can be sub­mit­ted through the Depart­ment for Envi­ron­ment and Water’s Cus­tomer Ser­vice Cen­tre, locat­ed on the Ground Floor, 81 – 95 Way­mouth Street, Adelaide.

If you are sub­mit­ting phys­i­cal media, Her­itage SA will return it to you once it has been con­vert­ed to a dig­i­tal format.

To have your footage includ­ed in the time-lapse make sure you sub­mit it by 31 March.

Once the pho­to sequence has been com­plet­ed, it will be made avail­able for the pub­lic to see and enjoy.

Inter­est­ed in learn­ing more about ship­wrecks in SA? Check out theseship­wrecks of the Riv­er Mur­rayandship­wreck trails.


This con­tent was pro­duced in part­ner­ship with  Good Living