Ship graveyard

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
French naval ship graveyard at Landévennec on the river Aulne, to the south of the roadstead of Brest.
Ship graveyard
Gravesend Bay, Brooklyn
Wreck of the "Sunbeam", near Port Adelaide, South Australia

A ship graveyard or ship cemetery is a location where the hulls of scrapped ships are left to decay and disintegrate, or left in reserve. Such a practice is now less common due to waste regulations and so some dry docks where ships are broken (to recycle their metal and remove dangerous materials like asbestos) are also known as ship graveyards.

By analogy, the phrase can also refer to a large number of shipwrecks which have accumulated in a single area but not been removed by human agency, instead being left to disintegrate naturally. These can form in places where navigation is difficult or dangerous (such as the Goodwin Sands or Blackpool), where a large number of ships have been deliberately scuttled together (as with the Kaiserliche Marine at Scapa Flow), or where a large number of ships have been sunk in battle.

List of ship graveyards[edit]


United Kingdom[edit]

  • The River Tamar downstream of the Saltash Bridge used to be used as a mooring site for mothballed vessels, including submarines, of the Royal Navy. These have now all been removed.
  • Portsmouth Harbour hosts a number of ex Royal Navy vessels, awaiting removal for scrapping.

United States[edit]


  • Wrecks all along the peninsular coast at Nouadhibou



All states and territories of Australia, except the land-locked Australian Capital Territory, have ships' graveyards

New South Wales:

  • Stockton Breakwater (Newcastle)
  • Homebush Bay Ships' Graveyard (Sydney)
  • Pindimar Bay Ships' Graveyard/The Duckhole (Myall Lakes)

Northern Territory:

  • Darwin Harbour East Arm


  • Bishop Island Ships' Graveyard (Brisbane)
  • Tangalooma Ships' Graveyard (Moreton Island)
  • The Bulwer Wrecks (Moreton Island)
  • Curtin Artificial Reef

South Australia:[3]

Further information: Port River


  • Little Betsey Island Ships' Graveyard (Hobart)
  • East Risdon Ships' Graveyard (Hobart)
  • Strahan Ships' Graveyard (Strahan)
  • Tamar Island Ships' Graveyard (Launceston)


  • Barwon Heads Ships' Graveyard (Port Phillip Bay)

Western Australia:

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ United States Coast Pilot 3 (43rd ed.). Washington, D.C.: National Ocean Service. 2010. p. 313. Retrieved May 5, 2010. 
  3. ^ (South Australian) ‘Ships Graveyards’ at, retrieved 12/06/2012.
  4. ^ ‘Port Adelaide’ (Ships Graveyards) at, retrieved 13/06/2013.
  5. ^ Hartell, Robyn; Richards, Nathan (2001). Garden Island, Ships's Graveyard. Heritage SA, Department for Environment and Heritage. pp. 1–6. ISBN 0-7308-5894-4. 
  6. ^ "Port Adelaide (Ships' Graveyards)". South Australian Department of Environment and Heritage. Retrieved 2012-06-12. 
  7. ^ Richards, Nathan (1997). "The History and Archaeology of the Garden Island Ships' Graveyard, North Arm of the Port River, Port Adelaide, South Australia (Honours thesis, BA(Hons), Archaeology)" (PDF). Flinders University of South Australia. pp. 26–30. Retrieved 2012-06-13. 
  8. ^ 'Port Augusta' (Ships graveyards' at, retrevied 12/06/2012.
  9. ^ 'Port Flinders' at, retrieved 12/06/2012.
  10. ^ 'Port Pirie (Ships graveyards) at, retrieved 12/06/2012
  11. ^ ‘Location of ships’ graveyards’ at, retrieved 12/06/2012.

External links[edit]