Divers have found the remains of a 187-year-old shipwreck in waters off Australia

Chrono date: 
2012 Jan 20

For the past fortnight, divers have been scouring the ocean floor 450 kilometres off the Queensland coast for the wreck of the Royal Charlotte.

The Australian National Maritime Museum organised the expedition.

The Royal Charlotte, a convict and troop transporter, was en route to India with a contingent of troops when it sank in a gale on Frederick Reef in 1825.

Survivors spent six weeks on a sand cay until they were rescued by a government brig.

Among the wreck's remains the divers found timber, an anchor, a cannon and other items.

Maritime archaeologist Kieran Hosty says the shipwreck will offer great insights on convict and troop transportation in the 19th century.

He says the items will eventually be put on display.

"That material we did bring back will be examined in laboratories in Sydney, and once we've worked on it, it will then go into conservation where it's stabilised and then it'll be on display at the National Martime (Musuem)," he said.

"The Royal Charlotte is at the first stage of a much bigger project.

"The whole idea of the project is to examine the Anglo-Indian trade of the 1800s."

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