Wreck DiveWreck Dive | Boat access

Deep Rated Technical Rated Wilsons Promontory Wreck Dive Site

Three Masted, Single Screw Schooner | Max Depth: 65 metres (213 feet)

SS Queensland
Ship similar to the
SS Queensland
© Unknown

The shipwreck of the Queensland (aka SS Queensland) lies about 35 km due east of Wilsons Promontory, Victoria in about 65 metres of water. The SS Queensland was an Iron single screw passenger and cargo vessel owned by the Eastern and Australian Mail Steam Company. The ship sank off the coast of Wilson's Promontory on the 3rd August 1876 after a collision with the SS Barrabool.

Diving the SS Queensland

SS Queensland Seafloor Map
Seafloor Map of SS Queensland

Located by G Hodge, M Ryan, M Whitmore, P Taylor and J Osmond of Souhern Ocean Exploration (SOE) on 25 June 2005, the SS Queensland lies at a depth of 65 metres (213 feet) on a sandy bottom. It is substanitally in tact with engines, boilers, winches, machinery, anchors, masts and chain on the site and it sits upright on the seabed.

SS Queensland History

The SS Queensland was an Iron, single screw, three masted, passenger and cargo schooner built in 1875 by Palmers Co Ltd of Jarrow, Newcastle, England, for Eastern and Australian Mail Steam Co Ltd. The ship was of 2,263 gross tons displacement, with a length of 325.3 feet (99 metres), a width of 36.7 feet (11 metres), and a depth of 25 feet (7.6 metres). She had a two cylinder inverted compounded steam engine of 309 hp. The hull was constructed with six watertight bulkheads and was rigged as a three masted topsail schooner.

Just prior to its wrecking in 1876, the passenger steamship Queensland was described by The Age as 'one of the finest steamers to visit Melbourne'.

SS Queensland Sinking

SS Queensland Collision
SS Queensland Collision
© Unknown

The large iron steamer Queensland, captained by the highly esteemed Robert Craig, sank off Wilsons Promontory after colliding with the steamer Barrabool in the early morning of 3 August 1876. The second mate of the Barrabool mistook the masthead light of the Queensland for the Wilsons Promontory lighthouse and made course for it.

The SS Barrabool was running full speed when it struck the Queensland's starboard side. The Queensland was badly damaged in the starboard side and sank in just 35 minutes. One crewman on the Queensland, second steward James Thomson, was reported missing and presumed drowned, while a number of others from both crews were injured.

Although the starboard bow of the SS Barrabool was badly damaged, it stayed afloat, and managed to keep from taking any water thanks to its sturdy bulkhead. The Barrabool was able to transport the survivors of the Queensland to safety under its own power.

The Queensland, which belonged to the Eastern and Australian Mail Company, was en route to Foo Chow Foo via Sydney, after offloading its cargo of Chinese tea at Melbourne's Sandridge Pier.

The second mate of the Barrabool, Ainsworth, had his certificate cancelled after his actions prior to the accident were found by the Steam Navigation Board to be reckless and the cause of the collision.

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

Finding the SS Queensland

It's unlikely the GPS mark from the Australian National Shipwreck Database is accurate. If anyone has an accurate mark, please let us know.

Latitude: 39° 6.600′ S   (39.11° S / 39° 6′ 36″ S)
Longitude: 146° 43.800′ E   (146.73° E / 146° 43′ 48″ E)

Datum: WGS84 | Google Map
Added: 2019-05-07 13:00:57 GMT, Last updated: 2019-05-07 13:23:54 GMT
Source: Australian National Shipwreck Database
Nearest Neighbour: Lune, 17,979 m, bearing 351°, N
Three Masted, Single Screw Schooner.
Built: 1875 in Newcastle, England.
Sunk: 3 August 1876.
Depth: 65 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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