Spirit of 1770: Stay away from wreck, authority warns

THE Australian Maritime Safety Authority has warned curious divers to stay away from the Spirit of 1770 wreck after a team of divers visited the boat's remains on the weekend.

AMSA became aware of the vessel location last week when it was located by fishermen trawling the area.

Maritime Safety Queensland issued a warning notice to mariners last Wednesday.

"It's too deep to be a navigation issue for surface vessels, but Maritime Safety Queensland did issue a notice to mariners that it may fold anchors and trawl nets in the area," AMSA spokeswoman Andrea Hayward-Maher said.

Following the dramatic sinking last month, AMSA is currently investigating if there have been any safety breaches related to the catastrophe.

"It's our understanding the insurers of the vessel are intending to salvage the wreck," Ms Hayward-Maher said.

"There's no navigation, safety or pollution risk."

The choice to salvage is "a matter for the owners and insurers".

The authority did, however, issue a reminder that diving as deep as these guys did could be an offence that could compromise efforts to find out what caused the disaster.

"It's an offence to interfere with wrecks that have been involved in a marine incident," Ms Hayward-Maher said.

"We don't want people interfering with any evidence - the insurers will want to see what state the wreck is in without anyone tampering."

She said the Authority could not put a timeline on the ongoing investigation.

READ MORE about the team who dived down to the wreck.



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