Rob & Carol's  HOMEPAGE


WrecK of the MV SYGna


 Wreck of the Sygna on Stockton Beach


    The bones of nearly one hundred ships, both steam & sail, lay buried in the sands of Stockton Beach as a reminder to the might of the ocean. The general southerly direction of the beach makes this shore a very dangerous one if caught close in with a strong southerly gale blowing. In the days of sail, a ship found it almost impossible to work out into the open sea.

    The wreck of the Norwegian 53,000 ton bulk carrier, MV Sygna, lays imbedded in the sand to show this beach is a threat to even modern shipping. Nobby's Lighthouse registered wind speeds of 93 knots or 170 kph, during the early hours of 26th May 1974.

    After Nobby's had relayed a report by the weather bureau of the approaching storm with strong winds & rising swell late Saturday afternoon, most ships that where waiting off the port weighed anchor & steamed out to the safety of the open sea. Only the Sygna & two other ships remained. One the Cherry, had been force to remain with a twisted anchor chain & adopted typhoon stance, riding out the storm by steaming at full speed ahead into the gale with both anchors out. The other Rudolph Olsen, reconsidered to head for sea after the gale worsened & was lucky not to be wash ashore.

    The Sygna was not so lucky. She had left her run too late & was blown like a cork towards the coast. Pushed 11km in 25 minutes, she hit the bottom twice & ran aground at 2.15 am, breaking her back in the process. The ship lay helpless in a boiling surf with waves breaking over the bridge.

    Japanese salvages succeeded in freeing the bow section which was towed to Japan for scrap. The stern defied all efforts & remains as a landmark on Stockton Beach today.


other pages from here

the SYGNA over the years 

other local ship wrecks  COMING SOON