Where are Suffolk's shipwrecks?

Thorpeness shipwreck Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Shipwrecks have been reported all over the county in recent years - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND

After recent sightings of shipwrecks on Suffolk's coast in recent months, we look at where notable discoveries have been made over the years.

River Deben, Melton

In the early 2000s, it was reported that a number of wrecks were pulled from the river after being described as eyesores by residents in the 1990s. 

The wrecks were said to be a danger to other river users, including rowers and swimmers. 

In the end, four of the wrecks were removed - with plans to remove more in the future if the funding arose. 

The boats - which are scattered around the Melton area - are believed to include lifeboats, inshore fishing boats, an 83ft Thames sailing barge reputed to have taken part in the 1940 Dunkirk Evacuation, a former Bailey bridge converted to a houseboat, cargo craft and a dredger.

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The wreck of a 16th century vessel was found on Dunwich Bank. 

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It is marked on sea charts and sits about 50ft below water level. 

It was previously believed that the wreck was from the Battle of Sole Bay in 1672. The battle was fought by a joint English and French force against the Dutch. 

In more recent years, however, it is believed the vessel is much older - possibly dating to the 1500s. It is thought it could have been a merchant or military transport vessel. 

In 2016, it was put on an 'at risk' register by Historic England after it was revealed that a gun had been stolen from the ship in 2015. 


The first British ship to be sunk in the First World War - HMS Amphion - is wrecked around 40 miles off the coast of Harwich. 

The ship remains intact, with an Ipswich-based group of divers having taken a good look around the remains five years ago. 

It was sunk by a German mine on August 6, 1914, killing 132 people onboard. 

The wreck is a protected site and not allowed to be touched. However, divers noticed that a lifeboat was still attached to the wreck. 

Thorpeness shipwreck Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

The remains of a shipwreck have been spotted at Thorpeness - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND


In recent weeks, a historic wreck in Thorpeness was re-uncovered on the beach. 

The boat, thought to have been around the same size as the ship of Captain Cook, was re-uncovered by winter storms earlier this year, but has regularly re-appeared on the shore over the years. 

Despite this, little is known about its origin. 

The construction of the remaining parts of the boat suggest it was either a warship or collier ship. 

Experts are now looking  to find out more about this wreck. 

Shipwreck remains on the beach at Covehithe

Shipwreck remains on the beach at Covehithe - Credit: Stephen Sugg


Another well-known wreck which has resurfaced in recent months is at Covehithe, near Lowestoft. 

Walkers came across the resurfaced remains of a ship's hull, which was last reported seen in 2018. 

Like the Thorpeness wreck, it is made of wood, with wooden trenails keeping it together. The nails mean that it could date back to the 18th or 19th centuries. 

Its exact origin, however, remains unknown, although it is believed to have worn away over the years. 

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