Wild weather has forced the ocean to give up one of its secrets.

The watery grave of a sunken ship has been exhumed by recent storms at a remote Yorke Peninsula beach off South Australia, throwing sunlight on the sailing ship Ethel once more. 

The triple-masted craft was en route to Port Adelaide from South Africa in 1904, when it struck a reef near Althorpe Island and was sunk. Only one crew-member, a 19-year-old man, was killed while all others managed to reach the shore alive.

The wreck drifted onto a beach in the Innes National Park where it now rests, peeking out of the sand every few years.

Deborah Furbank from the Environment Department says recent wild weather has given a better glimpse than usual: “Sometimes you can only see a few small bits of metal sticking out of the sand but this time it looks like a giant skeleton, like a dinosaur skeleton or a giant fish bone on the beach,” she said, “they were looking for information about the condition of the wreck so this is great timing. We'll be able to have a good look at it.”

Visitors can take a comfortable board-walk to the site at the Innes National Park, though historic protection acts prevent visitors touching the wreck. Informaiton for planning a visit is available online.