Extraordinary 120-year mystery surrounding missing ship that sank off the Australian coast is finally SOLVED


A ship that was lost at sea 120 years ago has been accidentally discovered, bringing its century-old mystery to an end.

The SS Nemesis left Newcastle in New South Wales in July 8, 1904 and was headed for Melbourne with 32 crew on board when it sank and disappeared in a storm.

Where The Remains Were Found

The remains have been found after Subsea Professional Marine Services, a company that searches for lost cargo containers, stumbled across the wreckage in 2022.

It was located on the ocean floor, 26km off the Kembla coast, south of Sydney.

Due to its location in deep, high-current water, it took two years for NSW Heritage experts to go through evidence to confirm the undisturbed wreck was the Nemesis.

CSIRO was a crucial part of the process and captured underwater imagery, which allowed NSW Heritage to see the wreck’s distinctive features and compare them to photos and sketches of the ship.

The images also showed the iron vessel upright with ‘significant damage to its bow and stern’.

Mystery Solved

It is now believed the engine became ‘overwhelmed’ during the storm and when struck by a large wave, the boat sank too quickly for lifeboats to be used. 

The 73m coal ship, which had its hold full coke and coal onboard, was last sighted near Wollongong by another ship, and it had ran into a southerly gale.

Distress rockets had been deployed in the storm and were seen off Port Hacking in Sydney’s south.

There were search parties when the ship went missing, but the vessel was never found.  

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As it was Back Then

At the time, Nemesis’s disappearance was big news, and over several weeks, crew members’ bodies washed ashore at Cronulla Beach, in Sydney’s south.

Parts of the boat also turned up, such as fragments of the ship’s steering wheel and its doors. 

NSW minister for environment and heritage Penny Sharpe said the loss of the Nemesis had been an ‘enduring mystery’. 

‘[It] has even been described by shipwreck researchers as the ‘holy grail’,’ she said.

‘Thanks to collaborative work with CSIRO and Subsea, using modern technology and historical records, Heritage NSW has been able to write the final chapter of SS Nemesis’ story.’ 

Heritage NSW said the crew, including Captain Lusher, had come from Australia, the United Kingdom as well as one from Canada. 

Sadly, they had left behind approximately 40 children.

The NSW government is now looking for relatives in a global call-out, so they can finally know what happened to their family members.

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Ola Alabi
Ola Moses is a certified writer, He writes technically and creatively. He is the CEO of WORDSWORTH, a house where writing is made easier for all. He is a content creator at EsB TV, since 2019. He is a young man that showcases professionalism in all that he does, he was announced as Child and Green Foundation Person of the Year 2018, one of his many lists of honours.


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