MV Karma by Trev Jackson
Position- Agnes Water
GPS- 24 23 83s 152 11 01e
Diver Qualification- Advanced
There were many raised eyebrows in the Queensland boating fraternity when authorities decided to allow the Karma to sink south of Agnes Water on the central coast. The 450-tonne gravel barge was traveling south to the scrap yard when she lost motive power and ran ashore in awkward weather. The master of the Karma flooded her tanks to increase the draft as she went onto the rocks. It was hoped that, when the ships engines were later repaired and the tide was high, she could be pumped out and, once floating, be driven off the shore. Float she did, but the damage caused to her whilst aground was substantial, and when she began to take water, salvors decided to ?let her go?. On the 23rd of December 2003, the ship touched bottom about 8 miles offshore from whence she had come.
She now sits upright on a sandy bottom in about 27 metres.
In the next few years, a profusion of marine life will invade the confines of the Karma. When we first dived the wreck in August 2004, oysters and coral were already gaining a foothold all over the upper decks and wheelhouse. Schools of Barracuda and Batfish swarmed the place, whilst giant Estuary Cod were found under every overhang. Down on the sand by the propeller several bull rays had set up shop alongside a Qld Groper.
At 42 metres in length, the Karma is substantial enough to become a genuine icon for wreck divers, especially when you consider that the area she is in is famous for spectacular schools of pelagic fish, large sharks and crystal clear water. In a few years she may be one of the most popular wrecks in the country. One small problem she may face is that her decks are in relatively shallow water and spearfishermen who want to to make a name for themselves have been out there whacking the big ones.