‘THE SUN’ – SHIPWRECKS with Ben Cropp

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Ben Cropp AM in 1996

Relatively close to the border between Australian and Papua New Guinea, in the northern region of The Coral Sea are a pair of coral reefs.**

Ashmore Reef and Eastern Fields are not include on dive tourism itineraries, being still a little too remote for visits, but yachts en-route to Murray Island may call in.

At the northern corner of Ashmore Reef is an ancient shipwreck, positioned near a ledge which drops onto a shelf 40 meters below, and then falls away into presumably very deep water.

It was interesting country with hump head maori wrasse and tuna. The sort of place where anything could swim by if you were in the water long enough.

The shipwreck scattered in shallower water is \The Sun\ and has a connection to an early white settler, Frank Jardine of Cape York and his long-lost treasure of gold.

Shipwreck explorer Ben Cropp believes the two large iron anchors (pictured) were sitting on the deck of the ship – the timber having long since rotted away, which would explain why they are elevated from the surrounding flat coral platform.

There can be an eerie feeling around such a tragic site – which, in it’s era, would have been equivalent to an airline crash of today. Bit’s and pieces scattered everywhere. Time was against our brief visit as we were heading for Murray Island to film turtle hunters at work. We’d definately enjoy a return visit one day.

SOME AUSTRALIAN DIVERS –

Kathy Troutt - teenage mermaid model
Teenage mermaid model  Kathy Troutt Official site

Alan Badger
Alan Badger (1971)
Ben Cropp AM in 1996
Ben Cropp AM in 1996
Ron Taylor AM in 1965
Ron Taylor AM in 1965
Brian McKenna in 1971
Brian McKenna in 1971

1-1-Chesterfield WGM 1Captain Wally Muller (1971)

Alby Ziebell
Captain Alby Ziebell

 

Christine Danaher
Christine Danaher
Irvin Rockman CBE in 1973
Irvin Rockman CBE in 1973
Richard Weir, pearl diver, deckhand, Australian junior champion spear fisherman.
Richard Weir, pearl diver, deckhand, Australian junior champion spear fisherman.
Christine Danaher at Pixie Pinnacle 1991
Christine Danaher at Pixie Pinnacle 1991
Gordon Beaver at home 1980
Gordon Beaver – the amazing adventurer and maverick. (1980)
Australian champion, Alan Badger at a Long Reef weigh-in 1970
Australian champion, Alan Badger at a Long Reef weigh-in 1970
Paul Wilmont and friend at Middleton Reef 1971
Paul Wilmont (left) collecting at Middleton Reef 1971

SHARK FEATURE STORIES (1968, 1981)

The February 1968 National Geographic featured pictures by Ron Taylor and John Harding (me); Ben Cropp had the centerfold with his whale shark image lifted from 16mm Kodachrome.

The May 1981 cover features Ron Taylor’s idea of a chain mail suit, inspired by butchers gloves.

The signed cover by Valerie Taylor was for my late father, John M Harding.