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Wreck of the HEREWARD

The HEREWARD was a full rigged iron clipper ship built in Glasgow in 1877 and traded frequently between London and Sydney with general cargo. However, it is best known for being wrecked on Maroubra Beach in May 1898.

The HEREWARD left the Dutch East Indies port of Sourabaya bound for Newcastle where it was to load with coal for South America. On 5 May 1898 it encountered fierce storms off the New South Wales coast and was thrown ashore by the heavy winds - with the sails reportedly ripped to shreds in the gale force conditions. The ship ended up on soft sand at the northern end of Maroubra Beach and was lucky to have avoided two rocky reefs. The crew of 25 made it safely ashore and alerted the authorities of the accident.

The wreck was stranded on the beach and the owners decided to sell it as salvage. Insured for 6,000 pounds, it was sold for 550. The new owner tried to refloat the ship and almost succeeded but each time it ended up back on the beach and by December 1898 wave action had broken it in two.

The following decades saw all viable pieces removed - by salvagers, treasure hunters and the sea and sand - until in 1937 only a small bit remained above the waterline. In 1950, 1965 and again in 1966 the remnants were blasted away until nothing remained.