News

South Ballina's ghost ship

Rikki Grinberg, of South Ballina, uncovered a ship wreck on her morning walk, believed to be from late 19th Century
Rikki Grinberg, of South Ballina, uncovered a ship wreck on her morning walk, believed to be from late 19th Century Mireille Merlet-Shaw

RIKKI Grinberg has picked up plenty of rubbish at South Ballina, but never thought she would uncover a maritime mystery.

The owner of the Ballina Beach Village and her husband Bernard yesterday found the rusted hull of a steel vessel which "popped up" on the southern bank of the Richmond River at Mobbs Bay following Friday's storm.

Ms Grinberg said the wreck wasn't there on Tuesday.

The couple have lived at South Ballina since 2009 and regularly ride their bikes from the caravan park east to South Wall, and pick up rubbish from the roadside and in the bush on the way back.

Ms Grinberg said she was "really excited" when she found the wreck, which had been covered in dead grass - and even had a tree growing in its middle.

She said the previous owner of the caravan park, Chasla Reid, whose family has long connections with the South Ballina district, told her about a vessel that ferried passengers across the river which had sunk at South Ballina in the late 1800s.

"She told me it would turn up one day," Ms Grinberg said. "And this (the wreck) has just emerged.

"We go down this road twice a day sometimes, and I have walked on this land and it (the wreck) wasn't showing.

"I'm just amazed no-one has seen it before."

The vessel is about 7m across at the widest point, and approximately 20m long. Its resting place is metres above the current waterline.

Clem MacMahon, president of the Ballina Naval and Maritime Museum, said the size of the vessel would be consistent with the type of craft used to ferry passengers across the river, but was unable to confirm its identity.

Ballina Shire Council's cultural development officer, Kate Gahan, said further inquiries would have to be made about the craft.

Cliff Murray, in his history of Ballina titled Across Three Bridges, refers to a ferry that sank in the late 1800s, but doesn't name it or identify where it went down.

This find follows the recent confirmation that a wreck discovered several years ago off the Ballina coast by local fishers is the twin-screw MV Limerick, sunk by the Japanese during World War II.

Locals are reminded that shipwrecks are protected under the NSW Heritage Act.

Topics:  editors picks, history, ships, south ballina




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

'I apologise every day that I am not the person he married'

My battle with postnatal depression...

'My husband lasted 6 weeks as a stay at home dad'

APN Hey Mummy Feature for online - stock images. Katie Dykes being interviewed for the webisodes. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

FROM the outside, being a stay at home mum looks like a breeze.

THE EXPERT: Stop judging working mothers

SUPER MUMS: Being a working mums comes down to perfecting time management.

"WORKING for money is all right; so is working because you want to.”

Health and nutrition with kids - how do you balance it?

HOW important is health and nutrition in your household?

Smack or no smack - where do you stand?

THE debate is reignited - is smacking acceptable?

Technology and kids: Do you ever cut their wi-fi?

Check out our new video series featuring mums having a chat

Pedestrian's lucky escape after run-in with truck

Keeping the roads safe this Christmas - Fraser Coast Police will be enforcing safe practises on the roads this Christmas. Expect to be tested for speeding, drinking and drug taking. Photo: Valerie Horton / Fraser Coast Chronicle

Woman clipped by truck as she walked along busy highway

Ipswich "bomb hoax" culprit still at large

Police and fire fighters are on the scene. Photo: Anna Hartley.

"Prankster" wasn't caught on CCTV, police appeal to public for help

BREAKING: Department confirms new case of black lung

Black lung is and ongoing issue.

Fifty-five year old underground coal miner diagnosed

Latest deals and offers

Vox Pop: Council's rate increase

Mayor Paul Pisasale.

Members of the public speak out on Ipswich City Council's rate increase.

Blair candidate visits meatworks

LNP candidate for Blair Teresa Harding meets workers at JBS on Wednesday.

LNP candidate for Blair visited the JBS meatworks in Dinmore on Wednesday.

Pisasale's Budget

Mayor Paul Pisasale making budget announcements at Fire Station 101.

Cr Pisasale has announced his 2016/17 budget as one that "gets things done" and...

Arts and culture get a boost in council budget

HAPPY CAMPER: Council’s culture boss Cr Charlie Pisasale will be delighted $400,000 has been allocated for a business case investigation for IPAC.

IPAC at the forefront of councillor's agenda

Burnett Heads housing development approved

COUNCIL APPROVED: A Burnett Heads housing development has been approved by Bundaberg Regional Council. Photo Contributed

Councillors approved the development seven votes to four