K-IX SubmarinePrint Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by Sandra Brown

The plaque commemorates the loss of the K-IX submarine. The New South Wales Heritage Office initiated the installation of a plaque following its relocation of the wreck site in 2000. 

Funding support was obtained from the Consulate of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and Great Lakes Council.  The March 23, 2001 unveiling ceremony by Urban Affairs & Planning Minister, Dr Andrew Refshauge, involved some 120 guests. Established at the lookout adjacent to the Sugarloaf Point Lighthouse at Seal Rocks, guests included Mr Ed Reitsma, Consul General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and Great Lakes Council staff.  Representatives of the Netherlands Ex-Servicemen & Women's Association of Australia, the Submarines Association of Australia, the Naval Association of Australia, DL&WC, NPWS, historical societies, local school children and residents, were also prominent. 

The former Royal Netherlands (Dutch) Navy submarine K-IX was built in 1922 at the K.M. de Shelde yard at Flushing, Holland. In a remarkable career, the submarine was finally wrecked on a desolate beach south of Treachery Head, Seal Rocks in 1945. It is the only known submarine wreck in New South Wales, apart from the Japanese midget submarine that was one of three that attacked Sydney Harbour. Escaping the Japanese advance of Java in 1942, the K-IX fled to Fremantle and was finally based at Sydney. The submarine was extensively damaged when a torpedo passed underneath it and destroyed the ex-ferry Kuttabul during the Japanese midget submarine raid of 31 May, 1942. Commissioned as a unit of the Royal Australian Navy, the submarine became an expensive liability requiring constant servicing. Finally paid off in 1944, the hull was converted to carry diesel oil. The vessel ran ashore on 8 June, 1945 after slipping the tow of its transport, the RNN Abraham Crijnsen, on a voyage to Brisbane. The wreck was bought at auction on 20 July, 1945 for £985 but salvage attempts were incomplete.  The K-IX wreck was last sighted in the 1980's following sand scouring, but is usually buried under several metres of beach sand. The submarine lies in the tidal zone of Submarine Beach, named in honour of the vessel's resting place.


Address:Lighthouse Road , Lookout, Sugarloaf Point Lighthouse, Seal Rocks, 2423
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -32.44183
Long: 152.53823
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:Conflict
Actual Event Start Date:03-September-1939
Actual Event End Date:15-August-1945


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Friday 23rd March, 2001
Front Inscription

Located under Submarine Beach south of this point lies the historic shipwreck K1X. Built in Holland during 1922, the 64- metre (210-foot) steel submarine was operated by the Royal Netherlands Navy. K1X served in the Dutch East Indies (Indonesia) during World War Two. 

In 1942 K1X escaped the Japanese domination of the region. Safely arriving in Fremantle, the then aging submarine transferred to Sydney Harbour. Shortly after arrival K1X was damaged in the Japanese midget submarine raid of 31 May 1942. 

Acquired for use as an anti-submarine training target, K1X was commissioned to the Royal Australian Navy in 1943 (Pendant number N39). Constantly under repair, the vessel was paid off by the RAN in 1944. Later, converted to carry bulk fuel, K1X ran ashore 8km south of here under tow from Sydney on 8 June 1945 and became a total wreck. 

Limited salvage work was carried out that year before the hull was abandoned. Officially named Submarine Beach in 1977, the archealogical remains were located by the NSW Heritage Office in 1999. 

[ Photographs] 

The Deputy Premier of NSW and Minister for Urban Affairs and Planning, The Hon Dr Andrew Refshauge MP unveiled this plaque on 23 March 2001. 

This site is protected by the NSW Heritage Act 1977.

Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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