In 1965 the Australian Broadcasting Commission, interviewed Norfolk islanders to identify the wreck site and were taken out to the area just seaward of the surf zone. Diving over the area they saw copper fastenings bolts, rudder and stern post fittings, copper sheathing tacks, lead shot and a large anchor in-situ. Jack Doyle filmed a story which was aired on the 31 October 1965 in the Weekend Magazine segment. This was the first underwater footage of HMS Sirius shipwreck site.
The sparked a desire by some Norfolk Islanders and others to recover the anchor and other relics known to be on the reef. The anchor seen on the ABC footage was finally raised by Norfolk Islanders in 1973 is the anchor now located at HMS Sirius Museum at Kingston, Norfolk Island with other HMS Sirius relics.
Many official diving expeditions of the shipwreck site have occurred in:
- December 1983 sponsored by the Australian Bicentennial Authority.
- February and March 1985 sponsored by the Australian Bicentennial Authority.
- January and February 1987 sponsored by the Australian Bicentennial Authority.
- October 1988, sponsored by British Airways.
- March 2002, Historic Shipwrecks Program grant.
The World Heritage listing of the Kingston Arthur’s Vale Historic Area (KAVHA) on Norfolk Island is of outstanding historic significance as a convict settlement spanning the era of transportation to eastern Australia between 1788 -1855. HMS Sirius artefacts are mostly all housed in HMS Sirius Museum at Kingston on Norfolk Island Museum, being the most significant display of First Fleet cultural heritage held anywhere in Australia and its territories.
This video clip is from January 2013, and shows the delicate and amazing work carried out to move the objects of the HMS Sirius ship to it’s new museum space. The new museum located in World Heritage Kingston is dedicated to the HMS Sirius, flagship of the First Fleet, wrecked on Norfolk Island in 1790. The objects you’ll see include a one tonne anchor, carronades, cannon balls and delicate pieces from the Officer’s Quarters.