Wreck DiveWreck Dive | Boat access

Marine Park - No Fishing Open Water Rated Wilsons Promontory Wreck Dive Site

Wooden Sailing Barque | Max Depth: 5 metres (16 feet)

The Cheviot foundered in Waterloo Bay anchorage at Wilsons Promontory on 24 March 1854. The Cheviot is archeologically significant for representing the remains of an early 19th century Atlantic, South Seas and colonial Australian whaling vessel.

Diving the Cheviot

The Cheviot shipwreck is lying on SW-NE axis with the bow facing SW and is 27.7 metres in length. It only rises 1.5 metres from the bottom but the number of fish congregating over the site gives it a good sonar return. The stern is identified by a dudgeon in situ on the sternpost. There was no sign of the rudder.

The wreck is heeled over on its port side. There were no anchors at the bow, suggesting it sank while anchored in a SW wind. Little remains of the stem and the outline of the bow area is indistinguishable or buried, a couple of very large copper alloy bolts about 1 metre in length as if from the deadwood are near the bow.

The cargo consists of bricks, lime and rounded riverine rock ballast. Also in evidence are iron hanging knees, numerous copper alloy bolts, an iron mast band, concretions, remains of an iron rigging chainplate on the starboard side, iron pipe, pulleys from the rigging and a large as yet unidentified concretion approx 2 metre square made up of indeterminate material, though possibly iron or lime. It may be a water tank, or remains of a lime cargo, or some other object.

There is evidence of extensive teredo worm activity on the exposed timbers, and the site appears to be subject to occasional burial and scouring. There is no wood left above the sheathing line and no sign of any heavy timber frames or knees. The keelson or sister keelson appears to have been eaten away leaving large protruding copper alloy bolts indicating the angle of heel. The timbers exposed were heavy planks in the midships area, and may be ceiling planking or outer planking. These also had evidence of teredo activity. Only one remnant of timber was observed, on the port side towards the bow. If the wreck is in fact buried to its sheathing line there would be substantial remains buried.

A concretion in the bow area may be a capstan.

Cheviot History

The Cheviot was built as an armed snow brig in 1827 and voyaged from Sunderland (UK). Lloyds Register indicates voyages to Quebec in 1830-31 and then the 'Southern Fisheries' in 1832-3, so it may have been whaling on the Atlantic coast of Canada as well.

Prior to the southern whaling voyage Cheviot was sold and appears to have had another deck added as the tonnage is also increased. It was whaling through to 1837 when it was re-registered in Hobart under the ownership of Capt. James Kelly. From that time the primary activity of the Cheviot was inter-colonial trade, while the whaling voyages became less frequent — probably as the catches diminished due to over fishing.

In 1842 the Cheviot was sold to Charles Seal and William John Mansfield of Hobart. After Seal's death Mansfield bought out his partner's share. Mansfield then lost his ownership of the vessel in 1853, though remained as master until the vessel was lost at Waterloo Bay, twelve months later.

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

If you're looking for the Cheviot wreck at Cheviot Bay on the Back Beaches of Mornington Peninsula, please see SS Cheviot.

Latitude: 39° 4.800′ S   (39.08° S / 39° 4′ 48″ S)
Longitude: 146° 26.400′ E   (146.44° E / 146° 26′ 24″ E)

Datum: WGS84 | Google Map
Added: 2019-03-13 21:48:38 GMT, Last updated: 2019-03-23 04:06:04 GMT
Source: Australian National Shipwreck Database
Nearest Neighbour: Lady Mildred, 2,224 m, bearing 180°, S
Wooden Sailing Barque.
Built: 1827.
Sunk: 24 March 1854.
Depth: 5 m.

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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