Alex T Brown wreck: WA Museum to look at protection for Yanchep wreck after vandalism claims

The exposed Alex T Brown wreck on August 17. Picture: Ruth Annesley
The sawn rib ends on August 23. Picture: Ruth Annesley
The exposed Alex T Brown wreck on August 17. Picture: Ruth Annesley The sawn rib ends on August 23. Picture: Ruth Annesley

WA Museum will seek to increase the protection level of a century-old timber wreck on a Yanchep beach after a Two Rocks resident raised concerns it had been vandalised.

Maritime curator archaeology Ross Anderson said WA Museum was not aware of the recent damage to the Alex T Brown wreck before being contacted by the Times last week.

Dr Anderson said while the wreck was not protected as a historic wreck, the timber schooner was still important to WA’s maritime history.

“Currently there are no penalties, however the WA Museum is investigating official channels to provide urgent protection for the site,” he said.

“The USA-built Alex T Brown is one of only two large four masted schooner wrecks in Australia and one of the only shipwrecks visible to the general public in the metropolitan area.

“WA Museum does not condone vandalism, damage or removal of material from shipwrecks or other heritage sites whether protected or not.

“The public are encouraged to report damage or interference to shipwrecks to the museum.

“In some cases it may not be clear whether a site is protected or not; for example, if it is a site that is recently discovered, or one that we do not know the identity or history of or the date it was wrecked, the museum will need to conduct further research.”

Ruth Annesley and her mother visited the wreck, which was blown ashore in May 1917, on August 17 after hearing more of it was exposed than normal.

When they revisited it last week, they found the exposed ribs had been sawn off.

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