Merewether man Ben Holmes uses drone to capture bird's eye view of Stockton shipwrecks Kate Tatham and Sylvan

A MEREWETHER man has managed to capture a bird’s eye view of two sunken ships off Stockton, thanks to his trusty drone.

Ben Holmes was recently driving across the Stockton bridge on a “gorgeous” day when his curiosity was piqued by some rusty hulls he saw protruding from the water.

“Until I put the drone in the air I had no idea of the size of the two boats, and how clearly you could see their structure,” he said.

Mr Holmes captured images of the vessels believed to be the Kate Tatham and Sylvan.

According to Newcastle Herald history columnist Mike Scanlon, a crewman was lucky to be alive after the 275-tonne Kate Tatham capsized and sank during a squall that struck Newcastle harbour in November, 1907.

The barque was salvaged to lead a different, but useful, life as a humble gravel barge for a further 15 years before she ended up abandoned on the Hunter River foreshore.

The Sylvan, the shipwrecked iron-screw steamer resting beside her, was used as a log punt after sinking at a town wharf in 1921.