Area No. 7 located southwest of Rottnest Island off the coast of Western Australia near Fremantle is an area 7 miles in diameter about 11 miles away from Rottnest Island Lighthouse designated for the sinking of obsolete vessels. It was declared under the "Beaches, Fishing Grounds and Sea Routes Protection Act 1932".


Area No. 7 off Fremantle


Numerous obsolete vessels have been sunk in Area No. 7 off Rottnest Island since 1910. The Rottnest Graveyard became busy again after the end of WWII when military aircraft and equipment had to be disposed off under the controversial Lend Lease Agreement.

There are at least 47 identified vessels located in the Rottnest Graveyard along with a number of WWII aircraft. The following vessels and aircraft have WWII connections:-

Tug "Agnes" used to Salvage RNN Submarine K-11

"Gunga Din" MWL 251 (19) - chartered from RAN by the WA Government to carry out survey work of the Dampier and Port Hedland port entrances.

6 Wellman Midget one man Submarines scuttled in 1947 used by Z Special Unit

RNN HNMS K-XII Submarine scuttled September 1946

RNN HNMS K-XI Submarine scuttled September 1952

4 Qantas Empire Airways Catalinas - US Catalinas leased to Britain and operated jointly by Qantas and RAF
    G-AGFM, "Altair Star" (RAF Serial No. FP-244);
    G-AGFL, "Vega Star" (FP-221);
    G-AGID, "Rigel Star" (JX-575),
    G-AGIE, "Antares Star" (JX-577 )

Note:- The fifth Catalina, G-AGKS, "Spica Star" (JX-287), was scrapped off Sydney in March 1946.



Précis of the Wrecks in the Ship's Graveyard, Rottnest" by Dena Garratt

"£80,000 Plane Destroyed", The Daily News (Perth), Monday 21 January 1946

"Destruction off Rottnest", The West Australian (Perth), Monday 21 January 1946

"Doomed Catalinas", The West Australian (Perth), Wednesday 23 January 1946

"Scrapping Aircraft", Mount Barker and Denmark Record", (Albany, WA), Monday 21 January 1946

McCarthy, M. 1997, "Report into the feasibility of locating, raising and conserving one of the four Catalina Flying Boats scuttled off Rottnest Island in the years 1945-1946."



I'd like to thank Bas Kreuger and Silvano Jung for their assistance with this web page.


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This page first produced 18 July 2020

This page last updated 19 July 2020