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Wreck Dive Wreck Dive | Shore access Shore access

Ideal For Snorkelling Inside Port Phillip Night Dive Site Open Water Rated Spearfishing Site Wreck Dive Site

Iron Paddle Steamer | Max Depth: 4 m (13 ft)

Ozone | © Unknown

Level: Open Water and beyond.

The Ozone (aka P.S. Ozone) was a fast bay paddle steamer, scuttled in October 1925, together with the Dominon, to form a breakwater in Half Moon Bay near Indented Head on the Bellarine Peninsula in Port Phillip.

Remains of the Ozone's paddle wheel can be clearly seen sticking above water from the shore at the southern end of Half Moon Bay.

Half Moon Bay Beach and Hood Bight Beach are two east facing beaches, bordered by low rocky points. The Esplanade runs behind both beaches, with a narrow foreshore reserve between the road and the beaches. The reserve increases in width on the points. There is a camping reserve in Batman Park at Half Moon Bay, and the Indented Head Yacht Club and picnic area in Hood Bight. Several boat sheds back both beaches and there is a large car park, boat ramp, jetty and picnic area on Indented Head, at the southern end of Hood Bight. Both beaches are narrow and steep and fronted by 100 metre wide sand flats.

Diving and Snorkelling the Ozone Shipwreck

Head out over the shallow sandy bottom to the Ozone shipwreck and explore the remains. The remains of the Dominion shipwreck are about 20 metres north of the Ozone.

The area is popular for dive training and it allows divers to have an interesting wreck dive at the same time.

Ozone Shipwreck at Indented Head | © Victor Sam

Ozone and Dominion Dive Sie Map
Ozone and Dominion Dive Sie Map | © The Scuba Doctor
Ozone and Dominion Parking
Ozone & Dominion Parking
© Google Street View

Location: The Esplanade, Indented Heads, Victoria 3223
MELWAY Ref: Page 446 A1
Beach Marker: 31B

Parking: There is parking along The Esplanade between Batman Road and Helen Street. It can be quite difficult to find parking in the peak summer months, but usually easy the rest of the year. Before gearing up check out the water. If you see lots of white water, head on home. If it looks okay, gear up and proceed from where you're parked, across the road, through the camping grounds, down to the southern end of Half Moon Bay Beach.

Warning: The area is subject to a lot of boat and PWC traffic. Always take a dive float with a dive flag. Always go with a dive buddy.

Entry/Exit: Shore entry from the southern end of Half Moon Bay Beach near beach marker 31B.

Ideal Conditions: Conditions are usually best with no wind, or an offshore south-westerly wind. Great after a few days of offshore south-westerly to westerly winds as surface conditions remain calm. Avoid when there are strong notherly to easterly winds. Best at high tide for extra depth. See WillyWeather (Indented Head) as a guide for the tide times and the height of the tide.

Ozone History Shipwreck — Built in 1886

P.S. Ozone
P.S. Ozone
Source: State Library Victoria

The Ozone was an iron paddle steamer, built in 1886, by Napier, Shanks & Bell, in Glasgow, Scotland. The Ozone was 260 ft (79 m) in length, 28 ft (8.53 m) in width and 11.2 ft (3.41 m) in depth and was 572 tons gross, 241 tons net. It could exceed 17 knots (31 kpm), and is regarded as one of the finest paddle steamers ever built.

Ozone was commissioned by the Bay Excursion Company and relocated to Australia, where it became a great favorite on Port Phillip, in Victoria, and remained in service there for many years.

The Ozone had a green hull, white superstructure topped by two orange funnels, three decks which contained a dining room, bars, a ladies' salon and many luxuries, all of which were lit with the new electric light. The Ozone's power plant was her direct-acting diagonal compound engines which were fuelled by six navy-type boilers. These drove its 21ft l0in paddle wheels at a speed of 20 knots (37 kpm).

Ozone at Queenscliffe
Ozone at Queenscliffe
Source: State Library Victoria

The Ozone left the United Kingdom on 25 August 1886, for its delivery voyage to Australia, under the command of Captain John McLean. The voyage took the Ozone through the Mediterranean Sea, the Suez Canal, the Indian Ocean to Thursday Island, where she was quarantined. The final run to Melbourne was made along the eastern Australian coast. The Ozone completed her voyage on Friday 26 November 1886 to an enthusiastic welcome.

Her first commercial voyage took place in December of the same year. Ozone earned the name 'The Greyhound of Port Phillip' because of her speed. The era of the bay steamers was also the era of the trade picnics. A firm would charter the Ozone, or one of the other bay steamers, and the employees would enjoy a day on the bay. For many, especially the children, this was the highlight of the year.

There was also competition between the rival ships and the companies which owned them. In 1888, the famous race on Port Phillip took place between the Bay Steamers Ltd. propeller-driven Courier and the paddle-driven Ozone. The Ozone was stripped, cleaned and put back into racing trim by her owners and easily beat the Courier. The following year, the return bout took place — this time the Courier was put into racing trim. As the expected race was just getting started, the Ozone glided to a halt, as its captain followed his orders and did not re-race his rival. The debate as to who won still continues.

Hygeia & Ozone, Sorrent Pier
Hygeia & Ozone, Sorrent Pier
Source: State Library Victoria

The Ozone was involved in three major incidents in her long career. These came before the Marine Board of Inquiry. In 1889, she collided with the schooner Elfin, in Hobsons Bay, near Williamstown. In 1890, there was a near miss with the Coogee. In 1894, the Ozone ran down the fishing vessel May, in Port Phillip.

With the arrival of the Hygeia in 1890, and the large and fast Weeroona in 1910, the Ozone's decline began. There was not enough patronage for three big excursion steamers, and in 1918, the Ozone was withdrawn from service. The Ozone was sold to Melbourne shipbreaker J. Hill in March 1925.

Ozone Sinking — Scuttled October 1925

P.S. Ozone
P.S. Ozone
Source: State Library Victoria

Stripped of everything but the paddle wheels and boilers, the Ozone hulk was finally sold to Captain W.G. Forbes in 1925. Captain Forbes, master of the Bay trader Athletic in the 1870s and in command of the S.S. Edina for 40 years, retired to live at Indented Head, Port Phillip.

Anxious to provide a breakwater for the protection of small craft, in 1925 Captain Forbes purchased the hulk Dominion which was towed to Indented Head and run aground. He also purchased the hulk of the P.S. Ozone to have her sunk to complete the breakwater. Unfortunately, the plan to sink the Ozone end on to the shore came unstuck when a fierce north-easterly wind caused her to slew parallel to the shore and she stuck fast in shallow water. Thus the breakwater scheme failed given vandals set fire to the Dominion, and the Ozone did not settle in the planned position.

The Ozone is socially significant as one of the well known 'Bay Steamers' that used to ply Port Phillip and Corio Bay with passengers on short trips and excursions. The Bay Steamer 'wings' on Station Pier and jetties such as at Clifton Springs, Queenscliff and Portsea are other reminders of this era. The Ozone is also recreationally significant as an easily accessible shipwreck site that can be snorkelled and dived, with boilers, steering quadrant, paddlewheels and bow section providing interest and a home for marine life.

See also, Wikipedia: Ozone (paddle steamer),
MAAV: Ozone 1886-1925,
Heritage Council Victoria: Ozone, and
Australian National Shipwreck Database: Ozone.

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

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.


Ozone Location Map

Latitude: 38° 8.348′ S   (38.13913° S / 38° 8′ 20.87″ S)
Longitude: 144° 42.816′ E   (144.713598° E / 144° 42′ 48.95″ E)

Datum: WGS84 | Google Map | Get directions
Added: 2012-07-22 09:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2022-05-03 16:03:03 GMT
Source: Google Earth
Nearest Neighbour: Dominion, 13 m, bearing 322°, NW
Paddle Steamer.
Built: Glasgow, 1886.
Sunk: October 1925.
Indented Head, Bellarine Peninsula.
Depth: 2 to 4 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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