Stockton Beach – Sygna Washed Away


Since 1974 one of the best photo opportunities on Newcastle’s Stockton Beach has been pulling up on the sand, your fourby standing proud with the wreck of the mighty Sygna in the background. The Norwegian bulk carrier attracted international attention 42 years ago when the hull was breached 10km north of Stockton during a storm. It was towed back and beached and has since become a local landmark and tourist attraction in the decades since.

However the storms on the east coast of NSW over the weekend finally saw swells big enough to finally claim the rusted hulk, which many had said had been on its last legs for years now. Only a small part of the hull remains, the rest has gone to Davy Jones’ locker. The wreck has been steadily receding from view as the sea took its toll but there was still a fair chunk of the ship still visible before the weekend.


The huge swells and storm surges, with swells reportedly as high as 11m, have caused all sorts of damage right along the coast. But it wasn’t until amateur photographer Justin Martin made his way down to Stockton beach this morning and suddenly asked his brother “where’s the Sygna?”
The fact that Mr Martin could be the first person in 42 years to look out to sea from that stretch of the beach with an unimpeded view is a pretty sad thought.

RIP Sygna, you will be missed.


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  • I remember walking along Stockton beach after the storm that put the synga on the beach I was only 6 and that wasn’t the only ship on the beach. But it was the only one they couldn’t get off.

  • Over in the west we have had the wreck of the alkimos. Only 2 bits show above high tide now. They even call the suburb near it alkimos now.

  • I grew up in Port Stephens and the Sygna was just part of the Stockton Beach landscape. As a young lad, my friends and I would usually ride trailbikes or buggies on weekends. We’d enter Stockton Beach through Birubi Point and ride south until the Sygna. The Sygna has always been our stopping point and turn around point.

    And as the author of this blog have mentioned, I too have countless photos of myself & friends, my various vehicles throughout the years with the Sygna in the background.

    It will be missed.

  • Great post. Remarkable that we allow a giant pile of garbage to just sit in the ocean to break up over time… Our connection with the sea isn’t as strong as it could be

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