Wreck sites around the Basses

  • Bottle Wreck at Great Basses Reef

    This is a shallow site very close to the reef opposite the Silver Coin wreck. Mr. Peter Throckmorton and Dr. Arthur C. Clarke found this wreck of the early British period. According to history a ship had docked at Port of Galle in its eastward passage to collect a shipment of soda bottles from a company by the name of "Clarek and Company" which supplies pointed - bottom soda bottles.

    The remnants of the mysterious bottle wreck lies on the land side of the Great Basses ridge. This wreck is very badly deteriorated because of the shallow water and residual surge conditions.

    The wreck is almost integrated into a reef and the only well-defined objects are two large anchors. Only a very few bottles from its original cargo remain as most bottles have been taken away by treasure hunters. The two large anchors also face danger of been removed by treasure hunters.

  • Silver Coin Wreck at Great Basses Reef

    On the 22nd of March 1961 a team of divers including late Rodney Jonklaas , Sir Arthur C. Clarke and Mike Wilson discovered, an unknown wreck in Great Basses containing sacks of silver coins minted in Surat, India. This ship belonged to the Moghul Emperor Aurangzeb, son of the great Shah Jehan who built the TajMahal in Agra. The valuable cargo had been on its way to the Far East for trade but unfortunately was deposited in the bottom of the ocean when the ship sank during a storm off the Great Basses.

    Sir Arthur C. Clarke, in his report to the Archeological Department in 1962/63 had mentioned the retrieval of 1 British cannon brass tray, cannon balls and 350 lbs of silver coins. Coins were in thousand coin bags and now the bags have decayed and the coins remain in lumps of thousand coins each. Some of these coins have ended up at the famous Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC, USA.

    This Silver Coin Ship is a star attraction among keen divers and also senseless treasure hunters. Therefore, it is of vital importance for the SLCG to protect it for posterity.

  • Copper Wreck at Little Basses Reef

    The Dutch-origin wooden ship wreck is situated in Little Basses in the depths between 18 to 20 meters. The history of this wreck is not known yet and this is also under threat from treasure hunters. It is a small steam ship with one boiler and the hull is made of copper plates. Only the propeller shaft, engine, boiler and the keelson remains to be seen.

  • Iron Wreck at Little Basses Reef

    This large iron wreck lies near the Little Basses reef 4 km west to the Little Basses in very shallow water. The Maritime Archeology Unit Team measured and compiled a report about it after the exploration carried out in 2008 and 2009. The wreck has been ruined by explosions used by fishermen and treasure hunters.

    The top part of the engine is just two feet under water. A large propeller is still intact to its shaft, while the extra propeller lies quite near. The stern is still intact and has become an excellent breeding place for marine life.

  • Ancient harbour site at Godawaya

    Godawaya is a village south of Ambalantota and is a historic site. The findings and excavations carried out at the ruins of this ancient harbour and stone pillared dock have shed new light on the Sri Lanka maritime heritage.

    The ancient wreck is situated at 2 ½ nautical miles South of Godawaya lies at 100 feet depth. The discovery of ancient clay pots at this site is a strongly indication of Sri Lanka Naval history which dates back a far as 2500 years.