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S.F. Hersey

Wreck DiveWreck Dive | Boat access

Inside Port Phillip Wreck Dive Site

Coal Hulk | Max Depth: 7 metres (23 feet)

S.F. Hersey
S.F. Hersey | © Unknown

The S.F. Hersey was a fine American built ship of 991 tons purchased by the Tasmanian Steamship Company in 1890. She was the largest square rigger registered out of Hobart. She made several voyages between Hobart and Newcastle under the command of Captain Wilson before she was converted to a coal hulk.

Diving the S.F. Hersey

The S.F. Hersey shipwreck site lies alongside and under the starboard side of the J3 Submarine at Swan Spit. The S.F. Hersey is protected by the submarine from the effects of a South swell or wind, but the scour pattern caused by the submarine has partially destroyed the site.

The stern post is lying on its own and faces into the main area of the site. There is a large overhanging section about amidships where the outer planking and some of the frames can be easily seen. Towards the bow is a large quantity of broken timbers of the hull and some of the timber cargo. The fore foot (bow) of the vessel is exposed and subject to the strong tidal movement at the stern of the submarine.

Bricks and some timber cargo can be seen strewn about the site. There are iron and brass fastenings and copper spikes on the vessel.

Water depth is 5 to 7 metres. Sea bottom sand and a lot of kelp and seaweed. The tide race is very strong on this site, particularly at the stern of the submarine where it can reach 4 knots at flood tide.

S.F. Hersey History

The S.F. Hersey was named after Samuel F. Hersey, a prominent Maine, USA politician and a founder of the Republican Party, being a wealthy lumber merchant. She was built in 1865 at Searsport, Maine, USA. The vessel was 168.8 feet (51 metres) in length, with a 33 feet (10 metres) beam, and a depth of 22.8 feet (6.9 metres).

On 21 May 1923 the SF Hersey was scuttled to be used as a pier in Port Phillip at the north end of Swan Island, next to the J3 Submarine.

The S.F. Hersey is within the Prohibited Area of Swan Island (Department of Defence) and is therefore out of bounds.

See also, Australian National Shipwreck Database: S.F. Hersey, and
Heritage Council Victoria: S.F. Hersey.

Latitude: 38° 14.720′ S   (38.245333° S / 38° 14′ 43.2″ S)
Longitude: 144° 42.110′ E   (144.701833° E / 144° 42′ 6.6″ E)

Datum: WGS84 | Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2019-05-29 09:15:50 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: J3 Swan Island Submarine, 149 m, bearing 5°, N
Coal Hulk.
Built: 1865.
Sunk: 21 May 1923.

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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