VIDEO, PHOTOS: SS Dicky wreck removal draws a crowd


ONLOOKERS have recounted stories from near misses in surf to favourite memories of happy snaps in front of the iconic SS Dicky. 

The removal operation of the 122-year-old shipwreck is all but complete after several hours work down at Dicky Beach. 

About 100 people gathered to watch the delicate process. 

Michael Flynn, and 83-year-old Dicky Beach lifesaving veteran, recalled a few near-misses after he watched a surfer land in the middle of the wreck one day.  

He spoke fondly of the new memories he made taking his grand daughter to the same beach.


SS Dicky wreck removal starts.
SS Dicky wreck removal starts.



Hundreds have gathered to watch the delicate removal of the SS Dicky. 

From musicians to the mayor, plenty have come to watch as teams work to extricate the 122-year-old wreck. 

Beach towels were replaced with machinery today for the monumental day in Coast history. 

Some cheered when the stern came clear from its watery home. 

SS Dicky removal has started, drawing quite a crowd.
SS Dicky removal has started, drawing quite a crowd.


Workmen removes parts of the SS Dicky wreck.
Workmen removes parts of the SS Dicky wreck.



ABOUT 30 die hard photographers have braved the morning chill to take one final sunrise shoot with the SS Dicky in their sights. 

Seems their passion for the Dicky has only grown stronger leading up to the sad, but necessary removal day today. 

Photographers gather at Dicky Beach for one last sunrise photoshoot.
Photographers gather at Dicky Beach for one last sunrise photoshoot. Nicola Brander

Local photographer Nicola Brander is celebrating her birthday today, but wouldn't miss an early morning to say farewell to the SS Dicky that had been the subject of so many of her photos. 

"I'm up this early to say goodbye to the wreck and be apart of history and cause I wanted to see my birthday sunrise and no better way than to be here," Miss Brander said. 



THE two-day, 15-person operation to remove the remains of the SS Dicky will steam ahead this morning.

It was 122 years ago the iron steamboat ran aground in heavy seas and despite numerous attempts to salvage the doomed vessel, the SS Dicky eventually became a fixture of the beach named in its honour.

Showing off all its colour photographer Justin Fitzgibbon takes one last photo of the
Showing off all its colour photographer Justin Fitzgibbon takes one last photo of the "old girl" at Dicky Beach. Contributed

With time and tide both gradually working to erode the wreck's condition, Sunshine Coast Council, in partnership with the State Government and other stakeholders, will finally remove the wreck's visible remains in a mammoth operation starting today.




Fifteen staff and contractors are involved in the delicate procedure, including a team of archeologists who will be working at both Dicky Beach and at the council depot where the remains are to be stored.

They will record and preserve material salvaged, as well as bury some artefacts in sand to combat decomposition.

The operation will get underway from about 11am, with excavators headed in to dig around the wreck and lift salvaged pieces, before quick-cut saws are deployed where necessary.

Trucks equipped with straps and chains will be used to transport sections of the wreck to the council depot.

A metal expert will fly in tomorrow to assess the pieces and decide which parts will be buried, discarded or earmarked for a display to be created on the Dicky Beach foreshore.

S.S. Dicky wreck, Dicky Beach, circa 1967. Photo - Heritage
S.S. Dicky wreck, Dicky Beach, circa 1967. Photo - Heritage


With $180,000 allocated for the project, onlookers are in for a spectacle, as teams work quickly to carry out the partial removal, spurred on by the heritage department's elevation of the case priority in 2013.

"The beauty of the proposal, for those wanting the wreck to remain in-situ, is that the section of the wreck deepest in the sand will remain where it is, thereby creating not only a safer situation but also still having a part of the wreck resting in its spiritual home," Councillor Tim Dwyer said.

"The section that needs to be cut is relatively thick compared to the worn frames that were cut in the test excavation.

"However with two days, a lot of experience and plenty of cutting discs, we're in a good position to gather as much material as we can."

 SS Dicky during storms by Joseph Gibbs.
SS Dicky during storms by Joseph Gibbs.

A significant preparation process was undertaken ahead of today's operation, including extensive documentation for the demanding state government approval process.

Among the preparations undertaken were test excavations of the site, to ensure the best chance of a successful removal.

A council spokeswoman yesterday encouraged residents to be involved in the film that will form part of the SS Dicky interpretive display by emailing:



  • Operations get underway from 11am today, with excavations and preliminary cutting
  • Best viewing times will be at low tide between 12.30pm-1.30pm when the stern will be removed
  • Wreck to be stored at council depot until display is created



  • All our coverage online today 
  • We'll have photos, videos and updates of this moment in history.

Topics:  dicky beach history ss dicky

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