SS Nemesis Shipwreck Memorial Marks 120th Anniversary


Loaded with coal, the 73-metre-long steamship Nemesis departed Newcastle for Melbourne when it was last sighted in rough seas off Wollongong on 9 July 1904.

The wreck lay undisturbed approximately 160 metres underwater for more than a century until it was discovered by remote sensing company Subsea Professional Marine Services and reported in 2022.

Underwater imagery provided by Subsea Professional Marine Services and from an investigation conducted by CSIRO research vessel (RV) Investigator revealed not only the first glimpse of the ship in almost 120 years, but also the invaluable data and vision needed for Heritage NSW to confirm the identity of the wreck.

In February this year, following the confirmation of the wreck's identity, 24 representatives of relatives answered a call for anyone connected to Nemesis to come forward.

Twenty-three relatives representing four of the original crew members attended the memorial event, allowing them to pay tribute to those that sadly perished. The memorial event on the 120th anniversary of SS Nemesis' disappearance brings a heartfelt conclusion to this chapter of NSW's maritime history.

To coincide with the anniversary, Heritage NSW commissioned Curtin University HIVE to create a digital 3D model from CSIRO's Marine National Facility's underwater footage. This model will allow the community to explore the remarkable underwater site and our maritime archaeologists to examine the wreck site further. The ongoing investigation is supported by the Australian Underwater Cultural Heritage Program.

[Animation of a digital 3D model that shows the wreck of the SS Nemesis on seafloor]
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