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Wreck Dive Wreck Dive | Shore access Shore access

Marine Park - No Fishing Open Water Rated Outside Port Phillip Wreck Dive Site

Three-Masted Iron Barque | Max Depth: 6 m (20 ft)

Level: Open Water and beyond.

The Glaneuse shipwreck is significant historically as the wreck of a large European built iron-hulled sailing barque. The wreck resulted in intense scrutiny of the pilot service and a Public Enquiry resulting in changes to pilotage operations.

Diving and Snorkelling the Glaneuse Shipwreck

Glaneuse Shipwreck 2-Oct-1886
Glaneuse Shipwreck 2-Oct-1886
Source: State Library Victoria

The Glaneuse is rarely dived due to its location in the surf line making diving uncomfortable and dangerous on all but the rarest of totally calm days. She lies about 120 metres west of the George Roper, close into the shore.

All that remains of the hapless Glaneuse below the surface, is the exposure of its rusting iron hull from time to time, after storms have removed the layer of sand that normally covers the wreck site.

See WillyWeather (Rip Bank) as a guide for the tide times and the height of the tide.

The Rip & Tides Warning: Always keep an eye on sea conditions throughout any shore or boat dive within "The Rip" (aka "The Heads"). This is a dangerous stretch of water, where Bass Straight meets Port Phillip, which has claimed many ships and lives. Please read the warnings on the web page diving-the-rip before diving or snorkelling this site.

Bass Strait Warning: Always keep an eye on sea conditions throughout any shore or boat dive in Bass Strait on Victoria's coastline. Please read the warnings on the web page diving-in-bass-strait before diving or snorkelling this site.

Glaneuse Shipwreck History — Built in 1870

The Glaneuse was a three-masted iron barque of 502 l-ton (510 t), built in 1870, by Farges & Chautiers de la Meditin, at La Seyne, France, on a length of 1160 ft (49 m), a breadth of 27.3 ft (8.32 m), and a depth of 16.3 ft (4.97 m). The vessel was owned at the time of its demise by Anton Dom Bourdes et Fils of Bordeaux.

Glaneuse Sinking — Wrecked 2 October 1886

On its final voyage the Glaneuse left France with a crew of 14 under the command of Captain Gorse, carrying a huge quantity of general cargo. After a routine voyage the Glaneuse arrived off Port Phillip Heads in calm conditions on the evening of Friday, 1 October 1886, in company with four other vessels. At 1 a.m. on Saturday, 2 October 1886, the Glaneuse signaled for a pilot but failed to obtain one. The pilots aboard the schooner Rip saw the Glaneuse and signaled with their flashlight but, as they did not see any return signal, assumed the Glaneuse was commanded by an exempt master (who are not compelled to use pilots to enter The Heads).

It was a dark night, but instead of standing out to sea until daylight, the French captain was apparently sailing just offshore between Point Lonsdale and Barwon Heads. On an approach to Point Lonsdale, and too close inshore in a channel, the Glaneuse was seen to be heading for the breaking reef/ An attempt was made to wear the ship around, but it was too late. Because the Lonsdale light was shut off from observation from the western direction, it would have been impossible to see. Captain Gorse ordered the starboard anchor dropped, however the Glaneuse drifted stern first in the light south-westerly wind onto the reef on Saturday, 2 October 1886.

After the vessel grounded, there was no attempt to make signals or launch rockets to gain attention to the plight of the vessel, so it's not until dawn the next day that the lighthouse keeper at Point Lonsdale noticed the barque Glaneuse not far to the west. Queenscliff was notified to dispatch the lifeboat and to telegram the agents in Melbourne, notifying them of the vessel's stranding.

The Avon steam tug, which was in the vicinity, preceded at once to the scene of the wreck but was unable to get close enough to be of any assistance, due to the danger of the reefs lying just offshore from where the Glaneuse had struck.

A short time later the Queenscliff lifeboat arrived offshore, but the crew of the Glaneuse showed no inclination to be rescued from seaward. After waiting in vain for some time, the lifeboat returned to Queenscliff after its fruitless rescue attempt.

Meanwhile Mr Dixon from the Custom House, had preceded to Point Lonsdale by road, where the rocket apparatus was procured and transported along the beach to be set up adjacent to the wreck. After the apparatus was in place, a rocket was fired across the wreck and after some time a stout line was rigged from the shore to the Glaneuse. By this means all of the crew were landed safely on the beach, then transported to Queenscliff, where they were taken on to Melbourne when a vessel was available.

See also, Heritage Council Victoria: Glaneuse,
Australian National Shipwreck Database: Glaneuse, and
The Lonsdale Wrecks in "Shore Dives of Victoria" by Ian Lewis, 3rd edition pages 54–55.

Heritage Warning: Any shipwreck or shipwreck relic that is 75 years or older is protected by legislation. Other items of maritime heritage 75 years or older are also protected by legislation. Activities such as digging for bottles, coins or other artefacts that involve the disturbance of archaeological sites may be in breach of the legislation, and penalties may apply. The legislation requires the mandatory reporting to Heritage Victoria as soon as practicable of any archaeological site that is identified. See Maritime heritage. Anyone with information about looting or stolen artefacts should call Heritage Victoria on (03) 7022 6390, or send an email to

Port Phillip Heads Marine National Park

This site lies in the Port Phillip Heads Marine National Park. The park is made up of six separate marine areas around the southern end of Port Phillip: Swan Bay, Mud Islands, Point Lonsdale, Point Nepean, Popes Eye, and Portsea Hole.

Thirty-one of the 120 shipwrecks known to have occurred within a 10 nautical mile radius of Port Phillip Heads are thought to be within the Port Phillip Heads Marine National Park in Point Lonsdale and Point Nepean.

Aboriginal tradition indicates that the Bellarine Peninsula side of the Port Phillip Heads Marine National Park is part of Country of the Wathaurung people, and the Mornington Peninsula side, including Mud Islands, is part of Country of the Boon Wurrung people.

See also, Parks Victoria: Port Phillip Heads Marine National Park,
Park Note: Port Phillip Heads Marine National Park,
Port Phillip Heads Marine National Park - Map,
Divers Guide - Port Phillip Heads Marine National Park,
Port Phillip Heads Marine National Park Identification Booklet, and
Taxonomic Toolkit for the Marine Life of Port Phillip Bay.

Port Phillip Heads Bathymetry
Port Phillip Heads Bathymetry
Source: Parks Victoria
Point Lonsdale Bathymetry
Point Lonsdale Bathymetry
Source: Parks Victoria
Point Nepean Bathymetry
Point Nepean Bathymetry
Source: Parks Victoria
Popes Eye Bathymetry
Popes Eye Bathymetry
Source: Parks Victoria
Portsea Hole Bathymetry
Portsea Hole Bathymetry
Source: Parks Victoria
Mud Islands Bathymetry
Mud Islands Bathymetry
Source: Parks Victoria

You are not permitted to carry a spear gun while snorkelling or scuba diving in Port Phillip Heads Marine National Park.

Wathaurong (Wadda-Warrung) country
Wathaurong (Wadda-Warrung) country

Traditional Owners — This dive site is in the traditional Country of the Wathaurong (Wadda-Warrung) people of the Kulin Nation. This truly ancient Country includes the coastline of Port Phillip, from the Werribee River in the north-east, the Bellarine Peninsula, and down to Cape Otway in the south-west. We wish to acknowledge the Wathaurong as Traditional Owners. We pay respect to their Ancestors and their Elders, past, present and emerging. We acknowledge Bunjil the Creator Spirit of this beautiful land, who travels as an eagle, and Waarn, who protects the waterways and travels as a crow, and thank them for continuing to watch over this Country today and beyond.


Glaneuse Location Map

Latitude: 38° 17.590′ S   (38.293167° S / 38° 17′ 35.4″ S)
Longitude: 144° 36.750′ E   (144.6125° E / 144° 36′ 45″ E)

Datum: WGS84 | Google Map | Get directions
Added: 2012-07-22 09:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2022-05-15 03:08:36 GMT
Source: Book - Shipwrecks Around Port Phillip Heads GPS (verified)
Nearest Neighbour: Buckleys Cave, 146 m, bearing 69°, ENE
Three-Masted Iron Barque.
Built: 1870.
Sunk: 2 October 1886.
Port Phillip Heads Marine National Park.
Depth: 6 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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