Southern Gulf Islands Shipwreck Project

Friday, September 23, 2016 (All day) - Friday, August 31, 2018 (All day)

Pt Grey keel
Diver observing commemorative plaque


The Underwater Archaeological Society of BC (UASBC) announces our latest exploration project.  Starting fall 2016 the UASBC plans to survey and document the Historic Shipwrecks of the Southern Gulf Islands.  The project is expected to take three years to complete and will involve archival research, underwater fieldwork, site documentation and mapping. 


Once complete, the UASBC will publish the results as permanent record of these historic shipwrecks and this important chapter of BC history. 


The Southern Gulf Island waters contain several large sailing ship wrecks from the 1870’s, as well as a 1868 side wheel paddle steamer and early passenger ships. The most modern major wreck is that of the Point Grey, which was lost in tumultuous Porlier Pass in 1949. Many of these wrecks were part of the early coal trade, which played a significant role in the early BC economy and the development of a number of Vancouver Island communities. Several of these vessels were enroute from Nanaimo to San Francisco when they got off course and tragedy struck.


Diving operations will start in the fall of 2016. Simultaneous with the start of this project the UASBC will be running a series of Nautical Archaeology Society Survey courses to prepare new divers for underwater survey work.


You can learn more about the project by attending either the Victoria Chapter or Vancouver Chapter Underwater Explorers Speakers Series meeting in September. The Victoria meeting will be on September 14 and the Vancouver meeting will be on September 28.  Details can be found on the website under “Events”.


The first dives are planned for September 23 – 26, 2016.  Details can be found at


If you are interested in getting involved in this project contact Jacques Marc -