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Marine archaeologist Graeme Henderson publishes ‘Swallowed by the Sea: the Story of Australia’s Shipwrecks’

Ian Harvey

The coastline of the nation of Australia is dotted with shipwrecks that date from about the 1600s to the present day.  Graeme Henderson is a marine archaeologist who has written Swallowed by the Sea: the story of Australia’s Shipwrecks.

He has been interested in shipwrecks since he was 16 and had discovered a shipwreck while he was fishing with his father.  Graeme found the ballast bricks first and then saw elephant tusks on the sea bottom. He took his companions along to come back and explore the remains with him, and this sparked his lifelong interest in shipwrecks.  There was much treasure on the wreck and divers came in from all over Australia to see the coins.  Henderson and his father gave what have they found to the Australian Museum and helped to introduce laws that increased the protection of such artifacts.

 

Story about Ship Batavia- Chapter 2 in the Swallowed by the sea

Story about Ship Batavia- Chapter 2 in the Swallowed by the sea

 

The loss of HMS Sirius – Chapter 4 in Swallowed by the sea

The loss of HMS Sirius – Chapter 4 in Swallowed by the sea

After he had finished school, Henderson managed to get a position in the new Marine Archaeology Program started by the Australian Museum.  He explored many wrecks during his career. He has not seen many bones due to the conditions under the water and the fragile nature of human remains in such a lively environment.  He enjoys diving in the wrecks to see what has been left behind and uncovered by the ocean currents.  He also likes to compare what he has seen to what is stored in the archives of the museum,

He enjoys diving in the wrecks to see what has been left behind and uncovered by the ocean currents.  He also likes to compare what he has seen to what is stored in the archives of the museum, ABC Radio reported.

Story about the HMS Pandora – Chapter 5 in  Swallowed by the Sea

Story about the HMS Pandora – Chapter 5 in  Swallowed by the Sea

 

 

The loss of immigrant barque Cataraqui- Chapter 9 in Swallowed by the sea

The loss of immigrant barque Cataraqui- Chapter 9 in Swallowed by the sea

His book, Swallowed by the Sea, is Graeme’s view at shipwrecks off the coasts of Australia that span since 1622 to 2010.  The chapters, arranged in chronological order, include coverage of mid-19th-century shipwrecks, ships lost in World War II, while the final chapter is dedicated to the loss of SIEV 221, an asylum ship.

Out of the thousands of ships, he could choose from, he selected only fifteen to share in his book.  He covers ships that have been found and some that still haven’t.  The book gives details about each ship – where it was headed and what it was carrying.  The circumstances of its loss are shared whether these were due to incompetence, cowardice, or plain bad luck.

The loss of the clipper ship Dunbar- Chapter 10 in Swallowed by the sea

The loss of the clipper ship Dunbar- Chapter 10 in Swallowed by the sea

 

Bombing of Darwin- Chapter 13 in Swallowed by the sea

Bombing of Darwin- Chapter 13 in Swallowed by the sea

As an author, Henderson has directly reported comments and offers no judgment over the facts or his opinion of the luckless captains.

Read another story from us: Noted shipwrecks from around the world: an eerie reminder that nothing lasts forever

It is a book that you can dip into randomly, as each chapter is self-contained.  Its historical facts are weaved together in a practical form of writing that makes it a real pleasure to read.