1960, 16 Minutes
This short film looks at pearl diving around Thursday Island in the Torres Strait - where the waters are warm and the beds relatively shallow although overfished - and also off the coast of Broome, Western Australia - with its richer beds and colder waters.
We see the fleets at sea, the search for shell sites and the cleaning and sorting of shell as well as the careful preparations for dives and the dives themselves - including a deep water dive to 270 feet (82 metres). The program also provides a glimpse of life on Thursday Island at the time, which was heavily reliant on the pearling industry.
An Australian National Film Board Production. Produced by the Australian Commonwealth Film Unit with the co-operation of the Department of Trade and the CSIRO. © 2011 National Film and Sound Archive of Australia.
Director: Frank Bagnall
Running Time: 16 Minutes