Remains of Gold Miners Discovered Using Boxfish ROV

The SS Ventnor carrying the bodies of 501 Chinese men, mostly gold miners, from New Zealand back to China, sank off the Hokianga Heads after striking a reef near Taranaki. The shipwreck lies 21 kilometres off the North Island Coast of New Zealand in the Tasman Sea, and 150 metres down.

In 2012, Project Ventnor chair John Albert, renowned New Zealand underwater explorer Keith Gordon and former NZ Dive magazine editor Dave Moran went searching for the Ventnor. It has taken nine long years, much of the time working in dangerous and unforgiving conditions, to get to this year discovery.

On Friday 22 May 2020 using underwater remotely operated vehicle Boxfish ROV the Project Ventnor Group made the discovery of the remains inside the SS Ventnor.

“The discovery was on a part of the vessel impenetrable to divers—their tanks would not have fitted through the hole. On the long journey back to shore, it seems fitting, anyway, that no diver found them. Just a high-tech robot. An instrumental encounter, devoid of direct human contact…