Six Heavy Fish and a Ton of Sinkers


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1971, 24 Minutes

Commemorates the secret discovery and restoration of six cannons jettisoned by Captain James Cook when his ship Endeavour struck a submerged reef off the northeast coast of Australia in 1770.

On 11 June 1770 the sailing ship Endeavour, captained by James Cook, struck a submerged reef off the northeast coast of Australia and ran aground. In an effort to lighten the load to float the ship off the reef, all unnecessary equipment was thrown overboard. The jettisoned cargo included six cannons.

In 1969 a group of scientists landed on Hope Island, between Endeavour Reef and the Queensland coast, determined to find the lost cannons. In a search shrouded in secrecy and using the very latest scientific equipment the men were able to locate the cannons and bring them to the surface, after nearly 200 years on the ocean floor.

Produced by the Australian Commonwealth Film Unit for the Commonwealth Department of Shipping and Transport. An Australian Commonwealth Film Unit Production. © 2011 National Film and Sound Archive of Australia.


Producer: Roland Beckett

Featured People: Members of the expedition - Dr Virgil Kauffman, Leader; Brigadier General Alfred L Wolf; Griscom Bettle; Dr James Tyler; Dr C Lavette Smith; Alfred Bertolet; Kenneth Myers

Narrator: Raymond du Pare

Year: 1971

Running Time: 24 Minutes

Classification: Exempt from classification

Curriculum Links: Australian History, Science, Marine Engineering, Maritime Archaeology.


Captain Cook – Obsession and Discovery

National Museum of Australia



SKU 002408200
Brand Film Australia

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