Rust in peace: Famous Sygna ran aground at Stockton Beach May 1974

The Sygna shipwreck might be gone, but it has not been forgotten.

The month of May marks the anniversary of the shipwreck, which sat watching over Stockton Beach for more than four decades.

The story of the Sygna shipwreck starts in 1974 when tumultuous weather, which saw winds reach up to 170km/h, closed the ports of Sydney and Newcastle.

As huge swells pummelled the coast a warning was issued for all ships to move out to sea, but the captain of the Sygna decided to remain.

On May 26 the 53,000 tonne Norwegian bulk carrier was anchored about 4 kilometres east of Nobbys before the storm.

The winds and 15-metre waves pushed the vessel 11 kilometres across the bight in 25 minutes, its midsection striking the sea floor off Stockton Beach, breaking the ship's back.

Video by Justin Martin

All 30 crew members were saved by a helicopter rescue crew from the RAAF base at Williamtown.

It became Australia's largest shipwreck and a part of local history.

The Sygna was later split in half during a salvage operation, but the stern remained a landmark on Stockton Bight beach for more than 40 years.

Mid-2016 the wreck was finally swallowed by the ocean.

Gone but not forgotten.


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