Is this goodbye? Council prepares for SS Dicky relocation

The SS Dicky - April 2014. Photo Heritage Library, Sunshine Coast Council
The SS Dicky - April 2014. Photo Heritage Library, Sunshine Coast Council Contributed

HOLIDAY snaps with the SS Dicky wreck as we know it may soon be over as the council prepares to remove it piece by piece.

Another phase in the removal of the remains of the ill-fated iron steamboat began on Friday afternoon when archaeologists were seen testing specialist cutting equipment to remove the frames from the Caloundra wreck.

Division 2 Councillor Tim Dwyer said he was confident all efforts had been made to preserve the heritage value of the wreck while improving public safety.

"Tests will ascertain the safety and accuracy of the cutting tools for both above and below water as well as underwater visibility issues," Cr Dwyer said.

"We need to know the cutting equipment will work in this challenging environment as the majority of cutting will need to happen underwater in limited visibility, against wave action and without the construction of safety barriers," he said.

"Once we know how effective this method will be, we can move forward with finalising the conservation management plan, one of three management documents that will see the SS Dicky partially relocated to its final resting place."

It is likely what is left of the rusted vessel will be cut into pieces and put on display in a safer place nearby.

The 226-tonne ship washed ashore during rough seas on February 4, 1893.

Photographers were sad they would no longer be able to capture the shipwreck.
Photographers were sad they would no longer be able to capture the shipwreck.

Since then, thousands of photos by amateur and professional photographers, the media and government agencies have documented its deterioration, showing the decay from a solid iron ship to a rusty shell.

Dicky Beach surf lifesaver Pete Capps said he had watched the SS Dicky rust away for the past 15 years.

"It's just been destroyed. I think it's good to preserve it," he said.

Caloundra historian Anne Wensley agreed but said she would be disappointed to see the wreck go.

"I'd prefer to see it stay but if it's dangerous, where it goes the history is going to go with it," Ms Wensley said.

A council taskforce including representatives from Dicky Beach Surf Life Saving Club, community heritage groups, the State Government and the council voted to move the wreck.

The plan is to house the remaining pieces in an open-space display near the entrance to the Dicky Beach car park and close to the Coastal Pathway.

A total of $180,000 has been put towards the wreck's relocation and preservation.

Father of three Jim Brown has spent the past eight years watching his children grow up on the beach, and said he supported the move if it made the beach safer.

How the SS Dicky went from a large iron steamboat to the rusted skeleton we know today:

The iron steamboat ran aground during rough seas in 1893.

It weighed 226 tonnes.

The vessel was bound for Brisbane from Rockhampton when it was beached and could not turn back.

The ship's engines, sails, gear, boats and anchors were salvaged but the iron hull of the wreck was left behind due to the low price of iron at the time.

The decks of the boat lasted until the 1960s when they collapsed and left behind the rusting hull.

Topics:  dicky beach heritage outdoor-living ss dicky sunshine coast council

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Should you really be going to emergency?

The Kingaroy Hospital emergency room.

Government asks people to think before going to emergency.

South Burnett the ideal place to 'get a foot in the door'

FIRST HOME BUYERS: Phil and Rebecca Cooke.

"It's an affordable way to buy your first or second house.”

Man airlifted after serious accident

A man has been airlifted from Kingaroy hospital to Toowoomba on a RACQ LifeFlight Rescue Helicopter

Patient airlifted to Toowoomba after accident.

Local Partners