In 1966, the Maritime Services Board approved a section of Homebush Bay for use as a shipwreck yard. In 1970 a wooden ramp was constructed to break up the vessels ashore, after breaking they were scuttled off along Long Reef (off the coast of Narrabeen) as part of the shipwreck reef formed from 1976.
SS Ayrfield (launched as SS Corrimal)
A steel-hulled steam collier weighing 1140 tonnes and 79.1m long, it was built in the UK in 1911 and registered in Sydney in 1912. It was commissioned by the Commonwealth Government for the transportation of supplies to American troops stationed in the pacific regions during WWII. In 1951, it was sold to Miller Steamship Company Ltd and was renamed SS Ayrfield and operated as a collier between Newcastle and Sydney. By 1972, the hull had been broken up and ended up in Homebush Bay.
A steel- hulled boom defence vessel weighing 971 tonnes and 54.25m long. It was built at Cockatoo Docks in Sydney and was commissioned in 1941 to serve in Darwin when the Japanese attacked in WWII. It was decommissioned by the Navy in 1965-6 and later abandoned in Homebush Bay.
A steel-hulled steam tug boat weighing 258 tonnes and 38.1 long. It was built in the UK in 1909 for Thomas Fenwick (tugboat operators) of Sydney. It was commissioned by the British Admiralty during WWI (renamed Epic) to engage in rescue work off the Scilly Isles. In 1919, it was back in Sydney working as a tug and during WWII it rescued the freighter ‘Allara’ when it got torpedoed off Sydney. Circa 1940, it assisted in manoeuvring RMS Queen Mary in Sydney Harbour. By 1973, it was sold to J.B Mullins who intended to rename the vessel ‘Bustler II’ but somehow ended up in Homebush Bay.
Ship-breaking Ramp, Barges, Dredges and Lighters
There are several remnants of barges, dredges and lighters visible from the wooden ship-breaking ramp located at the shipwreck viewing platform inside Bicentennial Park.