Wreck DiveWreck Dive | Boat access

Inside Port Phillip Open Water Rated Slack Water Wreck Dive Site

Wooden Sailing Schooner | Max Depth: 7 metres (23 feet)

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

The Joanna was a small Victorian built wooden sailing schooner used to transport lime within Port Phillip. It's the best preserved and earliest known example of a Victorian built sailing ship located in Australian waters.

Diving the Joanna

The Joanna is located one a half kilometres from shore on the Western Bank of the West Channel, between Swan Island and St Leonards. The shipwreck lies on sand in two to seven metres above the sea bed.

The Joanna's cargo of bagged lime, which has now turned into concrete, can still be seen. Divers visiting the wreck often see stingrays living between the lime bags. The weight of the cargo has pinned down the hull and preserved it under the sand along with ship fittings and crew possessions.

On the south side of the wreck site remains of the ship's rigging, the anchor chain and rope can be seen. An information plinth has been placed on the site.

The site of the Joanna is very exposed to weather from the north and south. It should only be dived at slack water.

Joanna Dive Site Map
Joanna Dive Site Map | © Victorian Archaeological Survey

There is a 100 metre radius Protected Zone around the Joanna with access by permit only. Anchoring is prohibited.

Joanna History

The two-masted wooden sailing schooner Joanna was built in 1856 at Rye, Victoria, Victoria specifically for work in the Port Phillip lime trade. She was 46 feet (14 metres) long, with a beam of 15 feet (4.6 metres) and draught of 7 feet (2.1 metres). The vessel's frequent berthing at Lime Wharf on Yarra, implies lime as the main cargo.

The Joanna had a brief career lasting only one year before it sank in a heavy gale. The Joanna was driven from anchors onto west bank of the Channel on 9th July 1857. The ship sank soon after. Salvage efforts failed, and the ship became a total loss. Only mastheads remained above water.

See also, Australian National Shipwreck Database: Joanna,
Heritage Council Victoria: Joanna, and
Dive Information Sheet: Joanna (1856-1857) (Adobe PDF | 596.47 KB).

Latitude: 38° 12.478′ S   (38.20796° S / 38° 12′ 28.66″ S)
Longitude: 144° 43.806′ E   (144.730102° E / 144° 43′ 48.37″ E)

Datum: WGS84 | Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2019-06-03 05:00:13 GMT
Source: Victorian Government GPS (verified)
Nearest Neighbour: Foig a Ballagh, 550 m, bearing 275°, W
Historic shipwreck protected zone.
Permit Required.
Wooden sailing schooner.
Built: Rye, Victoria, 1856.
Sunk: 9 July 1857.
Depth: 4 to 7 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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