Stab Magazine | A Chunk of Shipstern’s Bluff Just Collapsed

A Chunk of Shipstern’s Bluff Just Collapsed

And created a new, better angle!

news // Jan 18, 2017
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Earlier this week, part of the iconic headland that Shipstern’s derives its namesake from, partially collapsed. The massive amount of rock rubble collected right on top of where both photographers record the lineup, and surfers get changed.

A video taken yesterday by local photographer Stu Gibson shows a dramatically different profile of the bluff, and gives a clear visual of the damage suffered by the historical precipice.

“It happened right where we all stand,” Stu told Stab. “If you look at the video you can clearly see that pile of rubble on the bottom where we walk around to access the lineup, we’re usually to and from there all day. When I was filming, I was looking up and you could still see there are bits of rock hanging off the edge of the cliff about to come down as well.

“People film and drag their equipment down right there, so for one thing it was super lucky that it wasn’t a day that people were out surfing. It almost was too, because there’s a really big swell right now, but there was a super crazy amount of wind that day so no one was around. It’s still a bit of a scare though, that this happened at a time of year when people are all coming down to find surf.”

The damage won’t have too much effect on the wave itself, but it drastically alters the path photographers shooting and surfers venturing to the isolated lineup take when they’re without a boat or jet-ski. 

“In terms of accessing the lineup, we’ll have to climb over those boulders to get to everything,” continues Stu. “The only real reason we stand under that cliff is so we can get a better vantage point and see everything. This just shows that people should be more aware of it (the massive cliff). 

“At the moment, the track there is closed until they deem it safe to go across the bush walk. So, it’s not like no one can surf it, but for safety concerns the track will be closed for the next few days. It should be reopened today or tomorrow after they send in a crew of geologists and the sort. Parks and Wildlife Services are in there now to check everything out, and after that it should be fine.”

Finding a silver lining, Stu thinks photographers can actually take advantage of their newfound pile of rubble: “Realistically, it’s now turned into an even better film spot, because we’re still going to go and stand there, just now we can get on top of the rocks and get a better, higher angle.”

The Parks and Wildlife Service has issued signs on the bluff track, warning visitors not to approach the cliff area, or the recent rock fall. They have not received any other reports of future erosion either.


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