The SS Paterson was another member of the small coastal freighters that plied their trade along the NSW coastline between Sydney, Newcastle and Sydney. On the 11th of June 1951, the SS Paterson set sail from Cabbage Tree bay, sprung a leak and sunk rather dramatically and promptly in only 10 metres of water not 300 metres away from the wharf.
Built at Sydney in 1920 and being a wooden steamer, after her demise she soon began to disintegrate and her 148-foot length has all but disappeared.
Lying on sand in shallow water fairly close to the rocky shoreline has allowed the ocean to brutalise this wreck and after salvors removed as much cargo and equipment, the wreck is now classified as a humble wreck site.
With an ideal depth of around 8 to 10 metres makes the remains of the SS Paterson a good place to finish off the remaining 50 to 80 bars in your tank, especially as the site is only two minutes away from the boat ramp in Cabbage tree Bay.
The large fire tube boiler is a prominent feature of the site with Moray eels and Ling fish taking up residence in the holes.
A large wobbegong occasionally sleeps under some wreckage where the scattered remains are strewn in a fairly big area. The SS Patersen is an ideal introduction into wreck diving as she is full of obstacles, with no entry points and being shallow-allows ample time for mapping and hazard reduction exercises.
After severe storms, sand shifts that follow large storms, move fantastic amounts of sand that expose relics that can still be found today- Ipana toothpaste tubes, white Marmite jars and several handfuls of knives and forks, plates, cups and saucers still can be found around the wreck site.