Glenelg

Wreck DiveWreck Dive | Boat access

Advanced Open Water Rated Outside Port Phillip Wreck Dive Site

Iron Twin Screw Steamer | Max Depth: 32 metres (105 feet)

Historic shipwreck protected zone. Permit Required. For more details please see Victorian Shipwreck Protected Zones

SS Glenelg
SS Glenelg
© Unknown

The Glenelg (aka SS Glenelg), which lies in Bass Strait, near Lakes Entrance, is historically significant as one of the worst maritime disasters in Victorian history, with the deaths of at least 38 people and only three survivors. The shipwreck has the potential for archaeological significance with some of the hull preserved under the sand. These remains may provide unknown technical detail of iron shipbuilding, details of the refit the vessel underwent in 1898 and information pertaining to life on board a typical cargo/passenger vessel at the turn of the century. SS Glenelg is representative of the fleet of small iron steamers on the small country trading routes around Australia.

SS Glenelg History

Glenelg
Glenelg
© Unknown

The SS Glenelg was built by Aitken and Mansel of Glasgow Scottland and launched on Friday, 22 January 1875. She was an iron twin screw steamer of 210 gross tons (64 net tons) and built with the dimensions of 135 feet (41 metres) long, a breadth of 21 metres (69 feet) and a depth of 11.3 metres (37 feet). The Glenelg was driven by two compound steam engines totaling 85 hp from a single coal fired boiler; the engines were built in Glasgow by Rait and Lindsay. She was clincher built with a round stern and she was rigged as a fore aft schooner. The vessel carried two large lifeboats and had two holds with steam winches.

On 24th May 1875 the Glenelg held distinction of being the first southbound ship to pass through the new Suez Canal. Designed to operate as a tug / passenger / tender vessel, she also had the capacity to ship cargo. She worked out of Port Adelaide and later worked in the St Vincent's Gulf trade.

After departing Lakes Entrance for Melbourne the previous night, the small coastal steamer encountered a ferocious storm and was blown off course. Several iron plates in the hull cracked and the Glenelg began taking water. Despite valiant attempts by the crew, the vessel started to sink. A lifeboat was launched with three crew members aboard while about 20 passengers boarded a second lifeboat. The captain, remaining crew and passengers went down with the ship at 4.30 am on 25 March 1900. At daylight, the three in the first lifeboat found themselves in an empty sea — the ship and second lifeboat had disappeared without trace.

The Glenelg lay hidden beneath the waters off the 90 Mile Beach in South West Gippsland, Victoria for 109 years. The shipwreck of the SS Glenelg was eventually discovered by Southern Ocean Exploration (SOE) divers on June 28th 2009.

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

Latitude: 38° 33.144′ S   (38.5524° S / 38° 33′ 8.64″ S)
Longitude: 147° 12.444′ E   (147.2074° E / 147° 12′ 26.64″ E)

Datum: WGS84 | Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2019-06-03 05:02:55 GMT
Source: Victorian Government GPS (verified)
Nearest Neighbour: Duke of Wellington, 36,988 m, bearing 217°, SW
Iron Twin Screw Steamer.
Historic shipwreck protected zone.
Permit Required.
Depth: 32 m.



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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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