Wreck DiveWreck Dive | Boat access

Phillip Island Technical Rated Wreck Dive Site

Twin Screw Steamer | Max Depth: 66 metres (217 feet)

TSS Coramba
TSS Coramba
© Unknown

The Coramba (aka TSS Coramba) is socially and historically significant, as one of Victoria's worst shipwreck tragedies in living memory. Relatives of those who were lost are still alive, and the tragedy claimed the lives of fathers and breadwinners during the Depression. 17 lives were lost in the tragedy.

After 7 years of searching the TSS Coramba was discovered by Southern Ocean Exploration (SOE) on the 29th May 2011 approximately 10 nautical miles south of Seal Rocks, Victoria.

The shipwreck of the Coramba lies in a north-south direction, with the bow pointing towards the south. The vessel is lying on its port side, almost upside down.

TSS Coramba History

TSS Coramba Plans
TSS Coramba Plans
© Unknown

The TSS Coramba was built for the North Coast Steam Navigation Company in 1911 by Ailsa Ship Building Co Ltd in Troon, Scotland and launched 15 August 1911. She was a 531 ton displacement twin screw steamer that measured 160 feet (49 metres) long, 30 feet (9.1 metres) wide and 10 feet (3 metres) deep.

The Coramba was owned by the Belfast and Koroit Steam Navigation Company. The vessel was purchased by them to replace the SS Casino which had been wrecked at Apollo Bay with major loss of life in 1932.

The Coramba served the Western District ports and had replaced the Casino which had also been tragically wrecked two years before. The wrecks of the Casino and Coramba were the death knell for steamship services to the Western District as railways and road transport replaced shipping for trade. 'The Coramba Gale' in which the Coramba foundered is still one of the worst storms recorded to have hit Victoria, with widespread flooding, wind damage and property loss in the south eastern Melbourne metropolitan district.

Sinking of the Coramba

The Coramba left Warrnambool at 1 pm, on 29 November 1934 bound for Melbourne with a cargo of wool and Nestles Condensed Milk. It was due to arrive at about 7 am the following morning. Overnight the weather worsened and became a furious storm. The ship never arrived, and grave fears were held for its safety.

In early December, parts of the Coramba's deckhouse (identified by the vessel's bell) and other wreckage came ashore on the southern coast of Phillip Island along with a number of bodies. Well-known Victorian diver Johnno Johnstone was called in to locate the hull. Johnstone reported finding the hull in 27 fathoms (50 metres) of water about 1.5 miles west of Seal Rocks. However, attempts to relocate the vessel failed.

See also, Heritage Council Victoria: TSS Coramba,
Australian National Shipwreck Database: Coramba and
Southern Ocean Exploration: TSS Coramba.

Latitude: 38° 32.116′ S   (38.535267° S / 38° 32′ 6.96″ S)
Longitude: 145° 8.800′ E   (145.146667° E / 145° 8′ 48″ E)

Datum: WGS84 | Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2019-05-05 04:20:40 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: Speke, 3,371 m, bearing 47°, NE
TSS Coramba, Twin screw steam ship, 531 ton.
Built: Ayrshire, Scotland.
Launched: 15 August 1911.
Sunk: 30 November 1934.
Depth: 66 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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