Experts to test cutting gear on historic wreck
ARCHAEOLOGISTS will carry out another test excavation on the wreck of the S.S. Dicky on Friday to test specialist cutting equipment developed to remove the frames from the nautical relic.
Division 2 councillor Tim Dwyer said council was ticking all the boxes to preserve key heritage elements of the wreck and reduce safety risks.
"Tests will ascertain the safety and accuracy of the cutting tools for both above and below water as well as underwater visibility issues," Cr Dwyer said.
"We need to know the cutting equipment will work in this challenging environment as the majority of cutting will need to happen underwater in limited visibility, against wave action and without the construction of safety barriers.
"Once we know how effective this method will be, we can move forward with finalising the conservation management plan, one of three management documents that will see the S.S. Dicky partially relocated to its final resting place."
A mechanical excavator will expose selected parts of the wreck and the sand cover will be replaced as the tide rises.
The investigation will be carried out at low tide with at least two archaeologists supervising all operations.
The S.S.Dicky was driven ashore at Caloundra during poor weather in February 1893.
A taskforce formed by council, comprising representatives from Dicky Beach Surf Life Saving Club, community heritage representatives, State Government and council, have been working on a long term management strategy for the wreck and unanimously voted in favour of relocating the wreck.
A relocation point for the wreck has been identified and discussed with the community in a section of open space in close proximity to both the Coastal Path and Dicky Beach car park.
Council has allocated $180,000 towards relocating the remains of the structure, thus preserving the heritage values of the iconic wreck, and improving public safety at Dicky Beach.