Scientists have discovered a mystery shipwreck 60 metres under water on the Western Australia Coast.
The Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) research vessel Solander was mapping the ocean floor off the state’s north coast earlier today when sonar detected a large structure.
Miles Parsons, an AIMS Marine Acoustics researcher, told nine.com.au: “The ship’s captain noticed the unusual formation on the echosounder while we were travelling between sites”.
“We came back to take a closer look and were able to map it in incredible detail using enhanced multibeam survey technology onboard. It was pretty clear this was not a natural formation.”
Dr Parsons said the discovery created a buzz of excitement aboard the Solander.
“There was a lot of excitement going on as the object popped up on our screen, and then there were a lot of phone calls going back and forth trying to work out what it was — was it possibly a shipwreck?”
After they deployed an underwater towed camera, the structure was confirmed as a shipwreck.
“It is exciting to find a shipwreck using our multibeam technology.”
Dr Parsons said it appears to be resting 60 metres below the surface and is 37 metres long, with a width of about 7m.
The location has not been released because the wreck may be listed as a heritage site.
In a bid to solve the mystery, footage, GPS coordinates and sonar scans have been sent to maritime archaeology experts at the WA Museum.