WreckWreck | Shore access

Ideal For Snorkelling Open Water Rated Outside Port Phillip Wreck Dive Site

Three Masted Wooden Sailing Barque

Amazon Wreck Site Survey 2018
Amazon Wreck Site Survey 2018
© J Leach & M Khoiru

The shipwreck of the Amazon three masted wooden sailing barque lies on the shore and in Venus Bay near Andersons Inlet at Inverloch on Victoria's East Coast. Most of the wreck is situated between the high and low water marks. The remains are typically covered by sand, but this changes from time to time.

Amazon Shipwreck History

Amazon was a 402 ton barque built in 1855 by Frederick Charles Clarke of Jersey in Channel Islands, UK. The vessel was owned by the merchant John Carrel and other shareholders. Amazon was a 3-masted barrow with wooden frames, a round stern, carvel build and having a 'full woman' figurehead. The final entry for the barque in Lloyd's Register of British and Foreign shipping identifies the ship as 131.5 feet (40 metres) long, 25.5 feet (7.8 metres) wide and 16.2 feet (4.9 metres) deep.

Amazon left Melbourne bound for Mauritius on 12 December 1869 with a cargo of salted meats. The vessel cleared Port Phillip Heads at 8 pm that same evening and turned to starboard to head west towards the Indian Ocean. By 2 am on the 13 December the wind had picked up and by 4 am the Captain reported the gale had turned into a hurricane. 14 miles off Cape Otway, the wind tore off some of Amazon's sails. By the 14 December, Amazon attempted to return to the Heads and the relative safety of Port Phillip but by noon on the 15th, the Captain realised they weren't going to make it and turned his attention to keeping his vessel away from the shore.

Amazon continued to drift east as the storm still raged through into the next day and at 6 am, there were breakers off the port bow and rocks ahead. Amazon struck the beach near what is now the Inverloch surf beach at 10 am and Captain Ogier kept the vessel on course in an effort to drive the ship as far up the beach as possible. The crew, having been on deck for 48 hours straight, were exhausted, and it wasn't until 3 pm in the afternoon that everyone made it to shore.

They set up tents on the beach the next day and searched the nearby area for signs of inhabitants. There was no sign of anyone until the 21st December when Mr Heales who was passing close by on his way to Melbourne to visit family for Christmas saw a distress flag flying. He escorted Captain Ogier to Melbourne who raised the alarm.

The crew were rescued by HMCS Victoria (which happened to be the first vessel of the Victorian Colonial Navy). Victoria's captain reported that the wreck was lying broadside onto the beach but embedded into the sand about three metres. The ship was high enough up the beach that it was dry at low tide. He also reported that sixty feet of the main keel and forefoot was broken off and lying on the beach at the high-water mark.

See also, Heritage Council Victoria: Amazon, and
Australian National Shipwreck Database: Amazon.

Latitude: 38° 38.912′ S   (38.648533° S / 38° 38′ 54.72″ S)
Longitude: 145° 41.773′ E   (145.696217° E / 145° 41′ 46.38″ E)

Datum: WGS84 | Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2019-04-26 03:01:08 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: Artisan, 10,076 m, bearing 263°, W
Wooden Sailing Barque, 402 ton.
Built: Jersey, 1855.
Sunk: 13 December 1863.

DISCLAIMER: No claim is made by The Scuba Doctor as to the accuracy of the dive site coordinates listed here. Should anyone decide to use these GPS marks to locate and dive on a site, they do so entirely at their own risk. Always verify against other sources.

The marks come from numerous sources including commercial operators, independent dive clubs, reference works, and active divers. Some are known to be accurate, while others may not be. Some GPS marks may even have come from maps using the AGD66 datum, and thus may need be converted to the WGS84 datum. To distinguish between the possible accuracy of the dive site marks, we've tried to give each mark a source of GPS, Google Earth, or unknown.

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