Protecting our maritime cultural heritage near Bowen

Two nationally significant RAAF Second World War aircraft wrecks are now protected in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

Special management areas, each one kilometre square, are now in place around a Catalina wreck off Bowen and a Catalina that crashed near the Frankland Islands south of Cairns.

Boaters can travel through the special management areas but cannot stop unless in an emergency and cannot conduct any fishing activity or anchor.

People can apply for a Great Barrier Reef Park Authority permit to access the site for cultural heritage purposes, including monitoring, research and stabilising the wreck.

Full details of the laws are incorporated into regulation 66, 66A and 88VA of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Regulations 1983.

The Bowen wreck lies in 38 metres of water in a General Use Zone. While the main section of the fuselage and wing are within 32 metres of each other, other parts of the wreck are scattered in a broader area. In determining the extent of the special management area, the outlying artefacts were considered.

Map showing the Bowen Catalina Special Management Area. Please contact GBRMPA on (07) 4750 0700 for the specific information on the coordinates.