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Port Phillip Bay Wreck Dives

The waters of Port Phillip have claimed many vessels other than those to be found near Port Phillip Heads. According to Heritage Victoria there are about 130 of them, with many yet to be found. Those we know about and dive on are listed here. But maybe you'd prefer to hunt for the wrecks we don't know the location of.

Aneiura

Wreck Dive Boat access
Inside Port Phillip Bay Open Water Rated Wreck Dive Site

Wooden Sailing Schooner | Max Depth: 3 metres (9.8 feet)

See also, Heritage Council Victoria: Aneiura, and
Australian National Shipwreck Database: Aneiura.

Latitude: 38° 5.450′ S   (38.090833° S / 38° 5′ 27″ S)
Longitude: 144° 28.350′ E   (144.4725° E / 144° 28′ 21″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2019-02-26 01:42:00 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: Briton, 5,745 m, bearing 226°, SW
Wooden sailing schooner, 1652 ton.
Built: Benecia, California, USA, 1918.
Sunk: 1934.
Depth: 3 m.
See the Aneiura dive site page

Boadicia

Wreck Dive Boat access
Advanced Open Water Rated Inside Port Phillip Bay Wreck Dive Site

Ferro Cement Ketch Rigged Yacht | Max Depth: 22 metres (72 feet)

The Boadicia (aka Boadicea) is a Max Depth: 16.5 metres (54 feet) ferro cement ketch rigged yacht with main mast length Max Depth: 17.4 metres (57 feet) that has been abandoned and thought to be sunk in a depth of approximately Max Depth: Units: no unit type given. Approximate position 340 degrees 6 miles from Eastern Light.

See also, Australian National Shipwreck Database: Boadicea.

Latitude: 38° 1.187′ S   (38.019783° S / 38° 1′ 11.22″ S)
Longitude: 144° 50.407′ E   (144.840117° E / 144° 50′ 24.42″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2019-03-10 05:55:15 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: City of Launceston, 6,457 m, bearing 190°, S
Ferro Cement Yacht.
Lost: 1983.
Depth: 22 m.
See the Boadicia dive site page

Briton

Wreck Dive Shore access
Inside Port Phillip Bay Open Water Rated Wreck Dive Site

Wooden Hulk | Max Depth: 3 metres (9.8 feet)

The Briton shipwreck is significant socially for its use as a landing stage for the popular Bellarine Tea Gardens. It is difficult to assess archaeological significance due to the structure being modified throughout its career.

See also, Heritage Council Victoria: Briton, and
Australian National Shipwreck Database: Briton.

Latitude: 38° 7.590′ S   (38.1265° S / 38° 7′ 35.4″ S)
Longitude: 144° 25.500′ E   (144.425° E / 144° 25′ 30″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2019-02-26 01:44:44 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: City of Melbourne, 1,000 m, bearing 265°, W
Wooden hulk.
Built: New Zealand, 1864.
Sunk: 31 January 1890.
Depth: 3 m.
See the Briton dive site page

Carmen

Wreck Dive Boat access
Advanced Open Water Rated Inside Port Phillip Bay Wreck Dive Site

Wooden Lighter

Carmen
Carmen
© Unknown

The Carmen is significant as an ex-French sealing and whaling relief vessel. It is recreationally significant for the remains of its hull fittings in Jawbone Marine National Park, as one of at least six known vessels abandoned in this area.

See also, Australian National Shipwreck Database: Carmen,
Heritage Council Victoria: Carmen, and
MAAV: Carmen 1879-1936.

Latitude: 37° 53.160′ S   (37.886° S / 37° 53′ 9.6″ S)
Longitude: 144° 54.340′ E   (144.905667° E / 144° 54′ 20.4″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2019-03-23 01:25:53 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: Point Gellibrand, 1,626 m, bearing 358°, N
Wooden lighter.
Built: 1879.
Sunk: 1936.
See the Carmen dive site page

Cerberus

Wreck Dive Shore access
Ideal For Snorkelling Inside Port Phillip Bay Night Dive Site Open Water Rated Wreck Dive Site

Iron Breastwork Monitor | Max Depth: 7 metres (23 feet)

Historic shipwreck protected zone. Permit Required.

Cerberus
Cerberus
© Unknown

The former flagship of the Victorian Colonial Navy, HMVS Cerberus is internationally significant as a surviving example of a turret ship, or breastwork monitor class of warship. It was the first armoured warship built for Australia, and upon Federation became the Commonwealth of Australia's first capital ship. When it was built, along with its sister ship Magdala they were the first British ships to have low freeboard, breastwork protection, a central superstructure with fore and aft turrets, and the first warships ever built to operate solely on steam propulsion. The Cerberus represents the transition from large high profile wooden sailing warships armed with hundreds of cannon to a low profile 'floating raft' using explosive shells, revolving turret guns, and an iron hull and breastwork.

The Cerberus had an uneventful career for a naval vessel, with never a shot fired in anger in 53 years of service between 1871 and 1926. The HMAS Cerberus naval depot at Flinders is named after the HMVS Cerberus. After its use as a capital ship had expired, the Cerberus operated in Port Phillip as a port guard ship, a floating explosives store, and a submarine depot ship for the six J-Class submarines until being purposely sunk in 1926 for use as a breakwater for the Black Rock Yacht Club.

The wreck has collapsed to the waterline, crushing all passageways in the lower hull. It is unsafe to dive, thus diving is prohibited in the protected zone.

See also Wikipedia: HMVS Cerberus,
Australian National Shipwreck Database: Cerberus (HMVS),
MAAV: H.M.V.S. Cerberus 1867-1926,
Heritage Council Victoria: Cerberus (HMVS), and
Heritage Victoria slide collection on flickr: HMVS Cerberus.

Latitude: 37° 58.043′ S   (37.967382° S / 37° 58′ 2.58″ S)
Longitude: 145° 0.473′ E   (145.007876° E / 145° 0′ 28.35″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2019-03-23 01:27:17 GMT
Source: Victorian Government GPS (verified)
Nearest Neighbour: Black Rock Jetty, Half Moon Bay, 274 m, bearing 141°, SE
Historic shipwreck protected zone.
Permit Required.
ex HMVS Cerberus, Iron monitor.
Built: Jarrow-on-Tyne, Britain, 1867.
Sunk: 2 September 1926.
Depth: 7 m.
See the Cerberus dive site page

City of Launceston

Wreck Dive Boat access
Advanced Open Water Rated Inside Port Phillip Bay Wreck Dive Site

Iron Screw Steamer | Max Depth: 22 metres (72 feet)

Historic shipwreck protected zone. Permit Required.

City of Launceston
City of Launceston
© Unknown

The City of Launceston (aka SS City of Launceston) is one of Victoria's most significant shipwrecks. The discovery and reporting of the wreck and subsequent lobbying of the State Government led to the proclamation of the State Historic Shipwrecks Act 1981. It is one of the most intact iron steamship wrecks of its age in Australian waters, is technically and scientifically significant for the remains of its engine and boiler, and evidence of the experimental salvage attempts using Patented Maquay hydrogen gas generating devices. The City of Launceston is archaeologically highly significant for the state of preservation of a complete intra-colonial steamship with evidence of its cabin fittings, passengers luggage and cargo.


SS City of Launceston Shipwreck from Alan Beckhurst on Vimeo.

See also Australian National Shipwreck Database: S.S. City of Launceston,
Wikipedia: SS City of Launcestion,
Heritage Council Victoria: SS City of Launceston, and
Heritage Victoria slide collection on flickr: City of Launceston.


ABC News item from 18th February 2006 on the sunken shipwreck of the City of Launceston in Port Phillip, Melbourne, Australia.

Latitude: 38° 4.610′ S   (38.076829° S / 38° 4′ 36.58″ S)
Longitude: 144° 49.579′ E   (144.826321° E / 144° 49′ 34.76″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2019-03-23 01:17:46 GMT
Source: Victorian Government GPS (verified)
Nearest Neighbour: Eleutheria, 157 m, bearing 227°, SW
Historic shipwreck protected zone.
Permit Required.
Steam ship, 368 ton.
Built: Clyde, Scotland.
Sunk: 19 November 1865.
Depth: 14 to 22 m.
Dive only on: SWF, SWE, Ebb, Flood.
See the City of Launceston dive site page

City of Melbourne

Wreck Dive Boat access
Inside Port Phillip Bay Open Water Rated Wreck Dive Site

Wooden Sailing Clipper | Max Depth: 2.4 metres (7.9 feet)

The City of Melbourne is historically significant as an American built fast sailing clipper that was owned by the Black Ball Line. It was then used within Port Phillip Bay as a coal hulk and was also acquired for defence use as a block ship.

Originally built in USA as the Black Warrior. The City of Melbourne sank at Point Henry, Corio Bay, Port Phillip on 30 January 1890.

The shipwreck is a pile of ballast stones about 6 x 3 metres that rises about 20 cm off the bottom. It can be hard to find due to seagrass growth. It's in about 8 feet of water.

See also, Heritage Council Victoria: City of Melbourne,
Heritage Victoria slide collection on flickr: City of Melbourne, and
Australian National Shipwreck Database: City of Melbourne.

Latitude: 38° 7.629′ S   (38.12715° S / 38° 7′ 37.74″ S)
Longitude: 144° 24.816′ E   (144.4136° E / 144° 24′ 48.96″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2019-03-10 06:10:30 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: Briton, 1,000 m, bearing 85°, E
Wooden hulk, 1828 ton.
Built: Maine, USA, 1853.
Sunk: 30 January 1890.
Depth: 2.4 m.
See the City of Melbourne dive site page

Countess of Hopetoun

Wreck Dive Boat access
Inside Port Phillip Bay Open Water Rated Wreck Dive Site

Iron Steamer | Max Depth: 7 metres (23 feet)

Countess of Hopetoun
Countess of Hopetoun
© Unknown

The Countess of Hopetoun is historically significant as the last vessel to be built for the Victorian naval force. It is also significant for the vessel's role in patrolling Port Phillip during World War I.

See also, Australian National Shipwreck Database: Countess of Hopetoun (HMAS),
Heritage Council Victoria: Countess of Hopetoun (HMAS), and
Heritage Victoria slide collection on flickr: Countess of Hopetoun.

Latitude: 38° 15.156′ S   (38.2526° S / 38° 15′ 9.36″ S)
Longitude: 144° 41.573′ E   (144.692883° E / 144° 41′ 34.38″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2019-03-23 02:01:02 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: S.F. Hersey, 1,124 m, bearing 44°, NE
ex HMVS Countess of Hopetoun, First-class, steam driven torpedo boat.
Built: Poplar, London, England, 1891.
Sunk: 1924.
Depth: 7 m.
See the Countess of Hopetoun dive site page

Diana, Point Cooke

Wreck Dive Shore access
Ideal For Snorkelling Inside Port Phillip Bay Marine Park - No Fishing Open Water Rated Wreck Dive Site

Wooden Sailing Cutter | Max Depth: 6 metres (20 feet)

The wooden sailing cutter, Diana sprang a leak on Saturday, 23 December 1877 off Point Cooke and for the safety of those on board she was run ashore on Point Cooke Reef. The cutter was laden with firewood and was owned by R. Owens of Williamstown.

The Diana was a Bay and coastal trader with runs between Launceston, Western Port, Geelong, Melbourne and Port Fairy.

See also, Australian National Shipwreck Database: Diana, and
Heritage Council Victoria: Diana.

Latitude: 37° 55.800′ S   (37.93° S / 37° 55′ 48″ S)
Longitude: 144° 47.400′ E   (144.79° E / 144° 47′ 24″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2018-01-26 18:09:10 GMT, Last updated: 2019-03-12 13:49:12 GMT
Source: Australian National Shipwreck Database
Nearest Neighbour: Point Cooke Beach, 1,510 m, bearing 271°, W
Wooden Sailing Cutter.
Built: 1841.
Lost: 23 Dec 1877.
Depth: 6 m.
See the Diana, Point Cooke dive site page

Eivion

Wreck Dive Shore access
Ideal For Snorkelling Inside Port Phillip Bay Night Dive Site Open Water Rated Wreck Dive Site

Wooden Sailing Ketch | Max Depth: 3 metres (9.8 feet)

Eivion
Eivion
© James Parkinson, 2001

The wreck of the Eivion at Rye Pier, is historically significant as a Port Phillip Bay lime trader and for its association with its owner Benjamin Stenniken, the 'mayor' of Rye.

The Eivion lies within swimming distance to the east (right) of Rye Pier, at a snorkelling depth of about 3 metres. It can be spotted from up on the pier (about half way) as a dark patch. Eivion rests in a sandy seabed and is well covered with seaweed and hosts an abundance of life including small mysid shrimp and stingarees. It is often home to many nudibranchs, rays and small fish. Something nice to change things up, or to head to on a second dive at Rye Pier.

The Eivion wreck site is dominated by two large mounds of bagged lime. At either end of the wreck site are the remains of cant-timbers. Surrounding the lime, along the starboard side is fragmentary remains of hull structure, ceiling planking supported by futtocks, and various unidentifiable iron concretions.

The lime, long converted to calcium carbonate, is readily identifiable, as it is white and powdery and extremely fragile to the touch. Along the starboard side, forward of the inner hull ceiling planking are the fragile remains of a hessian lime bag. Indications are that parts of the site, especially the ceiling planking, and areas of lime, have only recently been exposed.

A blue stone ballast mound is located in the stern area between the stern post and stern lime bag mound.The remains of a wooden rudder is also visible at the stern.

It is archaeologically significant as the remains of the hull and cargo exhibit aspects of stowing of bagged lime, including the use of bulkheads and possibly limewashed holds to minimise water ingress to the vessel. As part of a maritime and terrestrial landscape it is in proximity to White Cliffs at Rye which produced lime and has remains of historic lime kilns. It is recreationally and educationally significant as the coherent remains of a wooden vessel within swimming distance from Rye Pier and lies in snorkelling depth.

In 1918, after a voyage from Melbourne to Rye, the Eivion encountered strong westerly winds and wave action whilst the vessel was alongside Rye Pier. The Eivion was pounded onto pier. After the storm, Eivion was awash with rigging tangled. Later dynamited to clear wreckage from pier.

The Eivion is of historical significance as she is an Australian built Port Phillip Bay limetrader, one of only two limetraders wrecked in Port Phillip Bay.

See also, Australian National Shipwreck Database: Eivion, and
Heritage Council Victoria: Eivion.

Latitude: 38° 22.023′ S   (38.36705° S / 38° 22′ 1.38″ S)
Longitude: 144° 49.412′ E   (144.823533° E / 144° 49′ 24.72″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2019-03-23 03:50:18 GMT
Source: Heritage Victoria
Nearest Neighbour: Rye Pier, 114 m, bearing 334°, NNW
Wooden Sailing Ketch.
Built: 1888.
Sunk: 1918.
Depth: 3 m.
See the Eivion dive site page

Isis

Wreck Dive Boat access
Inside Port Phillip Bay Open Water Rated Wreck Dive Site

Motor Vessel | Max Depth: 10 metres (33 feet)

Isis
Isis
© Unknown

The Isis was a timber, auxiliary, two-masted yacht. Torn by fierce seas from moorings off Frankston. Equipped with auxiliary sails. Driven stern first on to a reef about 1/4 mile from shore, battered to pieces. Masts torn loose, flotsam carried ashore. The three men were sleeping when storm struck, anchor failed to grip. Engine would not start and when it did impossible to raise anchor. The three managed to escape in dinghy but in high seas an oar was lost. Captain Thomson managed to get boat ashore with great difficulty.

Built in 1892 in North Sydney, NSW, sunk on 10 March 1932, the overall length of the vessel was approximately 26.03 metres (85 feet), beam 4.15 metres (14 feet) and draught 2.86 metres (9.4 feet) giving a displacement weight of 71 tonne (78 short tons).

The remains of the Isis are significant for their association with William Buckland, one of Australia's richest men.

See also, Australian National Shipwreck Database: Isis,
Heritage Council Victoria: Isis, and
MAAV: Isis 1892-1932.

Latitude: 38° 8.083′ S   (38.134717° S / 38° 8′ 4.98″ S)
Longitude: 145° 5.828′ E   (145.097133° E / 145° 5′ 49.68″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2019-03-23 01:18:38 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: Yakka Reef Frankston, 899 m, bearing 214°, SW
Timber, auxiliary, two-masted yacht, 71 ton.
Built: North Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1892.
Sunk: 10 March 1932.
Depth: 10 m.
See the Isis dive site page

Eleutheria

Wreck Dive Boat access
Inside Port Phillip Bay Open Water Rated Wreck Dive Site

Wooden Hulk | Max Depth: 13 metres (43 feet)

The Eleutheria was originally built as a wooden sailing barque at Shields, Durham, England in 1835. Voyages before coming to Australia included: London to Quebec, London to Londonerry to Bordeaux, Limerick to New York, and Liverpool to Barbados. The then barque arrived in Melbourne from Glasgow in 1854 with 21 passengers. The Eleutheria was converted to a powder hulk in 1862.

After a number of salvage attempts on City of Launceston, the Eleutheria was purchased by its engineer, Barrett, for 310 pounds on 29 June 1866 and sold to a group of shareholders for a final salvage attempt, using the Eleutheria for lighterage, for which had been employed in previous salvage attempts. Used as base for operations, it sank on 5 July 1866 during salvage attempts on City of Launceston. Markers removed from wreck 10 October 1866 after masts removed.

Least depth of water over highest part of vessel is 7 fathoms.

See also, Australian National Shipwreck Database: Eleutheria, and
Heritage Council Victoria: Eleutheria.

Latitude: 38° 4.667′ S   (38.077778° S / 38° 4′ 40″ S)
Longitude: 144° 49.500′ E   (144.825° E / 144° 49′ 30″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2019-03-11 05:19:23 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: Pinafore, 140 m, bearing 258°, WSW
Wooden hulk.
Built: Shields, Durham, England, 1835.
Sunk: 5 July 1866.
Depth: 13 m.
See the Eleutheria dive site page

Ferro Cement Yacht

Wreck Dive Boat access
Inside Port Phillip Bay Open Water Rated Wreck Dive Site
Latitude: 38° 7.448′ S   (38.124133° S / 38° 7′ 26.88″ S)
Longitude: 145° 2.361′ E   (145.03935° E / 145° 2′ 21.66″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2019-02-19 02:06:59 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: Firefly Aircraft 3, 3,566 m, bearing 314°, NW
Unidentified ferro cement yacht.
See the Ferro Cement Yacht dive site page

Firefly Aircraft 1

Wreck Dive Boat access
Inside Port Phillip Bay Wreck Dive Site
A RAN Fairey Firefly
A RAN Fairey Firefly
© Royal Australian Navy

Fairey Firefly 1 was a Second World War-era, carrier-borne, fighter aircraft that was lost on 20 July 1947 in an accident. As the British aircraft carriers HMS Theseus and HMS Glory were departing on Sunday 20th 1947 after their visit to Melbourne, two squadrons of Firefly and Seafire aircraft from the HMS Theseus took off for an exercise over the bay out from Frankston. As they climbed to 1,500 feet (457 metres) and moved into formation, two Fireflys collided.

The Argus newspaper recorded the following the next day: "In a flash the two planes were one. Locked together they turned slowly and fell. Near the water they dropped like stones and disappeared. The destroyer Cockade steamed at full speed to the scene and lowered a boat. The body of one of the four crew was recovered. When the Theseus arrived the only sign was a patch of oil."

Divers removed parts of the tailplane and rear wheel for identification and the remains were left forming an artificial reef.

There are two aircraft, some 150 metres apart. See Firefly Aircraft 2.

Fairly Firefly Grave Site

In July 2017, human skeletal remains missing for 60 years were found near the wrecks of two war planes in Port Phillip. Four people were killed when the two Fairly Firefly planes crashed on 20 July 1947, but only the body of one of the pilots was recovered at the time. Aged 31, he had been a prisoner of war in Germany for five and a half years.

Divers Paul Roadknight and Steve Boneham located the remains of one of the aircrew still inside one of the wrecked aircraft about 20 metres below the surface. They found the remains of another airman next to the wreck of the second aircraft. There was no information about the possible whereabouts of the fourth victim.

The wreckage of the two single engined Fairy Firefly trainers is considered a significant archaeological find. Heritage Victoria warns that diving near the wrecks is an offence that carries a heavy fine.

Fairey Firefly History

The Firefly was designed as a fleet reconnaissance aircraft for the UK's Royal Navy, and was derived from the Fairey Fulmar. First flown on 22 December 1941, the first versions were delivered in March 1943 to RNAS Yeovilton. The main version of the aircraft used during WWII was the Mk.1, which was used in all theaters of operation. Throughout its operational career, it took on increasingly more demanding roles, from fighter to anti-submarine warfare.

After WWII, the Firefly remained in service in both the UK and Australia, flying anti-ship missions off various aircraft carriers in the Korean War and serving in the ground-attack role in Malaya. In 1956, the Firefly's frontline career ended with the introduction of the Fairey Gannet.

The Firefly was built at London's Great Western Aerodome (Heathrow), United Kingdom.

Fairey Firefly General Characteristics

  • Crew: Two (Pilot and Observer)
  • Length: 37 ft 7.25 in (11.46 m)
  • Wingspan: 44 ft 6 in (13.57 m)
  • Height: 13 ft 7 in (4.14 m)
  • Wing area: 328 ft sq (30.5 m sq)
  • Empty weight: 9,750 lb (4,432 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 14,020 lb (6,373 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 x Rolls-Royce Griffon IIB liquid-cooled V12 engine, 1,730 hp (1,290 kW)

Fairey Firefly Performance

  • Maximum speed: 316 mph (275 kn, 509 km/h) at 14,000 ft (4,300 m)
  • Range: 1,300 mi (1,130 nmi, 2,090 km)
  • Service ceiling: 28,000 ft (8,530 m)
  • Climb to 10,000 ft (3,050 m): 5 min 45 sec

See also, Wikipedia: Fairey Firefly,
Heritage Council of Victoria: Frankston - Fairey Firefly 1, and
Australian National Shipwreck Database: Frankston - Fairey Firefly 1.

Latitude: 38° 6.004′ S   (38.100067° S / 38° 6′ 0.24″ S)
Longitude: 145° 0.714′ E   (145.0119° E / 145° 0′ 42.84″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2019-03-23 03:47:22 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: Firefly Aircraft 2, 55 m, bearing 324°, NW
See the Firefly Aircraft 1 dive site page

Firefly Aircraft 2

Wreck Dive Boat access
Inside Port Phillip Bay Wreck Dive Site
A RAN Fairey Firefly
A RAN Fairey Firefly
© Royal Australian Navy

Fairey Firefly 2 was a Second World War-era, carrier-borne, fighter aircraft that was lost on 20 July 1947 in an accident. As the British aircraft carriers HMS Theseus and HMS Glory were departing on Sunday 20th 1947 after their visit to Melbourne, two squadrons of Firefly and Seafire aircraft from the HMS Theseus took off for an exercise over the bay out from Frankston. As they climbed to 1,500 feet (457 metres) and moved into formation, two Fireflys collided.

The Argus newspaper recorded the following the next day: "In a flash the two planes were one. Locked together they turned slowly and fell. Near the water they dropped like stones and disappeared. The destroyer Cockade steamed at full speed to the scene and lowered a boat. The body of one of the four crew was recovered. When the Theseus arrived the only sign was a patch of oil."

There are two aircraft, some 150 metres apart. See Firefly Aircraft 1.

Fairly Firefly Grave Site

In July 2017, human skeletal remains missing for 60 years were found near the wrecks of two war planes in Port Phillip. Four people were killed when the two Fairly Firefly planes crashed on 20 July 1947, but only the body of one of the pilots was recovered at the time. Aged 31, he had been a prisoner of war in Germany for five and a half years.

Divers Paul Roadknight and Steve Boneham located the remains of one of the aircrew still inside one of the wrecked aircraft about 20 metres below the surface. They found the remains of another airman next to the wreck of the second aircraft. There was no information about the possible whereabouts of the fourth victim.

The wreckage of the two single engined Fairy Firefly trainers is considered a significant archaeological find. Heritage Victoria warns that diving near the wrecks is an offence that carries a heavy fine.

Fairey Firefly History

The Firefly was designed as a fleet reconnaissance aircraft for the UK's Royal Navy, and was derived from the Fairey Fulmar. First flown on 22 December 1941, the first versions were delivered in March 1943 to RNAS Yeovilton. The main version of the aircraft used during WWII was the Mk.1, which was used in all theaters of operation. Throughout its operational career, it took on increasingly more demanding roles, from fighter to anti-submarine warfare.

After WWII, the Firefly remained in service in both the UK and Australia, flying anti-ship missions off various aircraft carriers in the Korean War and serving in the ground-attack role in Malaya. In 1956, the Firefly's frontline career ended with the introduction of the Fairey Gannet.

The Firefly was built at London's Great Western Aerodome (Heathrow), United Kingdom.

Fairey Firefly General Characteristics

  • Crew: Two (Pilot and Observer)
  • Length: 37 ft 7.25 in (11.46 m)
  • Wingspan: 44 ft 6 in (13.57 m)
  • Height: 13 ft 7 in (4.14 m)
  • Wing area: 328 ft sq (30.5 m sq)
  • Empty weight: 9,750 lb (4,432 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 14,020 lb (6,373 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 x Rolls-Royce Griffon IIB liquid-cooled V12 engine, 1,730 hp (1,290 kW)

Fairey Firefly Performance

  • Maximum speed: 316 mph (275 kn, 509 km/h) at 14,000 ft (4,300 m)
  • Range: 1,300 mi (1,130 nmi, 2,090 km)
  • Service ceiling: 28,000 ft (8,530 m)
  • Climb to 10,000 ft (3,050 m): 5 min 45 sec

See also, Wikipedia: Fairey Firefly,
Heritage Council of Victoria: Frankston - Fairey Firefly 2, and
Australian National Shipwreck Database: Frankston - Fairey Firefly 2.

Latitude: 38° 5.980′ S   (38.099667° S / 38° 5′ 58.8″ S)
Longitude: 145° 0.692′ E   (145.011533° E / 145° 0′ 41.52″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2019-03-23 03:48:10 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: Firefly Aircraft 1, 55 m, bearing 144°, SE
See the Firefly Aircraft 2 dive site page

Foig a Ballagh

Wreck Dive Boat access
Inside Port Phillip Bay Open Water Rated Wreck Dive Site

Wooden Barque | Max Depth: 3 metres (9.8 feet)

The Foig a Ballagh, which lies between Coles and West Channel, Port Phillip, is representative of one of the small trading sailing vessels, carrying essential goods into and out of Melbourne during the nineteenth century. Coal was becoming an indispensable commodity in Victoria from the 1850s onwards with the development of the railways and the new steamships that were becoming increasingly popular and Foig-a-Ballagh was a coal-carrying trader. Foig-a-Ballagh potentially has archaeological significance for Irish shipbuilding techniques as it is possible the bow is reasonably well preserved under the sand. The vessel holds potential significance as a training site for maritime archaeology students.

See also, Australian National Shipwreck Database: Foig-A-Ballagh, and
Heritage Council Victoria: Foig a Ballagh.

Latitude: 38° 12.450′ S   (38.2075° S / 38° 12′ 27″ S)
Longitude: 144° 43.430′ E   (144.723833° E / 144° 43′ 25.8″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2019-03-10 06:25:57 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: Monarch, 397 m, bearing 207°, SSW
Wooden barque.
Built: Belfast, Ireland, 1845.
Sunk: 6 August 1852.
Depth: 3 m.
See the Foig a Ballagh dive site page

Francis Henty

Wreck Dive Shore access
Ideal For Snorkelling Inside Port Phillip Bay Night Dive Site Open Water Rated Wreck Dive Site

Iron Steam Dredge | Max Depth: 4 metres (13 feet)

Initially a dredge, the Frances Henty was later used as a cable layer. Lies at end of the rocky breakwater near Sandringham Pier.

Registry cancelled 11 Sept. 1951.

Deck beams still in place, some internal bulkhead uprights still intact. Along the starboard side of the ship, some fallen shell plating can be observed. The port side is covered by breakwater rocks. Turbine rotor near stern.

See also, Australian National Shipwreck Database: Francis Henty, and
Heritage Council Victoria: Francis Henty.

Latitude: 37° 56.529′ S   (37.942158° S / 37° 56′ 31.77″ S)
Longitude: 144° 59.540′ E   (144.992334° E / 144° 59′ 32.4″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2019-03-10 06:21:22 GMT
Source: Google Earth
Nearest Neighbour: J7 Submarine, 298 m, bearing 162°, SSE
Cable layer, steamer hulk.
Built: Renfrew, Scotland, 1889.
Sunk: 1949.
Depth: 3 to 4 m.
See the Francis Henty dive site page

Henrietta

Wreck Dive Shore access
Ideal For Snorkelling Inside Port Phillip Bay Open Water Rated Wreck Dive Site

The Henrietta left Geelong before dawn on 29/09/1940 in a SW breeze that soon strengthened. When well under way crew found no chart of Bay was on board (previously removed by a pilot for updating and not returned). Ran aground, with tide falling, on end of reef that runs out from Point Cooke for more than 1 mile, buoy marking end of reef not seen in bad weather conditions.

See also, Australian National Shipwreck Database: Henrietta, and
Heritage Council Victoria: Henrietta.

Latitude: 37° 55.800′ S   (37.93° S / 37° 55′ 48″ S)
Longitude: 144° 48.600′ E   (144.81° E / 144° 48′ 36″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2018-01-26 18:38:46 GMT, Last updated: 2019-03-12 13:46:49 GMT
Source: Australian National Shipwreck Database
Nearest Neighbour: Diana, Point Cooke, 1,754 m, bearing 270°, W
Wooden Sailing Schooner.
Built: 1915.
Lost: 20 Sep 1940.
See the Henrietta dive site page

J3 Swan Island Submarine

Wreck Dive Boat access
Inside Port Phillip Bay Wreck Dive Site

Diesel Electric Submarine | Max Depth: 8 metres (26 feet)

J3 Submarine
J3 Submarine
© Unknown

The HMS J3, later HMAS J3, submarine was scuttled off Swan Point to act as a breakwater and power source for the naval base. It settled almost on top of the wreck of the 961 ton coal hulk S.F. Hersey.

The J3 sub is within the Prohibited Area of Swan Island (Department of Defence) and is therefore out of bounds.

The J3 submarine, also known as the Swan Island Sub, lies in 5 to 8 metres with parts of the hull above surface.

History

The J class of submarines was a seven submarine class developed by Britain's Royal Navy prior to the First World War in response to claims that Germany was developing submarines that were fast enough (22 knts) to operate alongside surface fleets. The rumours were actually false. Six J class submarines were completed during mid-1916, while a seventh entered service at the end of 1917.

The J class Submarine Number 3 was built in 1915/1916 and scuttled in January 1926, the overall length of the vessel was approximately 83.7 metres (275 feet), beam 7.2 metres (24 feet) and draught 4.7 metres (15 feet) giving a displacement weight of 1,092 tonne (1,204 short tons) surfaced. When launched the J class were the fastest subs in existence.

Although larger and more powerful than previous British submarines, the J class could not keep up with surface vessels, and operated independently during the war. Between them, the submarines sank a U-boat, and heavily damaged two battleships, with the loss of one, the J6, to friendly shelling. They were equipped with a powerful long-range wireless they were ideally suited to reconnoiter in enemy water.

Following the war, the six surviving submarines were gifted to the Royal Australian Navy. When they arrived in Australia, they were all in poor condition. The boats were not refitted in England before being handed over and sailing to Australia, and had to undergo extensive refits. They were immediately refitted (from 1920) at the Garden and Cockatoo Island Commonwealth Naval Dockyards.

The ironclad Cerberus acted as a depot ship to the J Class submarines whilst they were stationed at Geelong.

Four subs, J1, J2, J4, and J5, were scuttled in the ship graveyard. Two were scuttled as breakwaters: J3 near Swan Island, and J7 at Sandringham Yacht Club.

See also Wikipedia: HMS J3,
Australian National Shipwreck Database: J-3 Submarine, and
Heritage Council Victoria: J-3 Submarine.

Latitude: 38° 14.640′ S   (38.244° S / 38° 14′ 38.4″ S)
Longitude: 144° 42.120′ E   (144.702° E / 144° 42′ 7.2″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2019-03-23 02:05:23 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: S.F. Hersey, 149 m, bearing 185°, S
J-Class Submarine, 1820 ton.
Built: Dyfed, Wales, 1916.
Scuttled: January 1926.
Depth: 0 to 8 m.
See the J3 Swan Island Submarine dive site page

J7 Submarine

Wreck Dive Shore access
Inside Port Phillip Bay Wreck Dive Site

Fighting WWI Submarine to Marina Breakwater

J7 Submarine
J7 Submarine
© Unknown

The J7 Submarine at Sandringham Yacht Club is a unique visible feature of the marina, and is historically significant as one of the Royal Australian Navy's earliest submarines, predated only by the AE-1 and AE-2.

History

The J class of submarines was a seven submarine class developed by Britain's Royal Navy prior to the First World War in response to claims that Germany was developing submarines that were fast enough (22 knts) to operate alongside surface fleets. The rumours were actually false. Six J class submarines were completed during mid-1916, while a seventh entered service at the end of 1917.

The J class Submarine Number 7 was built in Devonport Dee and completed 11/1917. In that time the J class were the fastest subs in existence. Number 7 was the last J class submarine to be built.

Although larger and more powerful than previous British submarines, the J class could not keep up with surface vessels, and operated independently during the war. Between them, the submarines sank a U-boat, and heavily damaged two battleships, with the loss of one, the J6, to friendly shelling. They were equipped with a powerful long-range wireless they were ideally suited to reconnoiter in enemy water.

Following the war, the six surviving submarines were gifted to the Royal Australian Navy. When they arrived in Australia, they were all in poor condition. The boats were not refitted in England before being handed over and sailing to Australia, and had to undergo extensive refits. They were immediately refitted (from 1920) at the Garden and Cockatoo Island Commonwealth Naval Dockyards. The last one to be refitted was the J7 submarine in June 1922.

The ironclad Cerberus acted as a depot ship to the J Class submarines whilst they were stationed at Geelong.

The decision to scrap the J7 submarine came on the 16-Jan-1924 even though it was in fairly good condition after just being refitted. It was described as the last survivor of an obsolete class. She stayed in service for the longest period providing electricity for the Flinders Naval Depot.

She was towed from Cowes where she had been lying at anchor, to Melbourne by the tug Minah and broken up at Footscray. The J7 was sold to Morris and Watts Machinery Merchant in October 1929, who after dismantling the J7 sold it to the Ports and Harbors Department Melbourne and sunk her as a breakwater at Sandringham Yacht Club in August 1930.

Four subs, J1, J2, J4, and J5, were scuttled in the ship graveyard. Two were scuttled as breakwaters: J3 near Swan Island, and J7 at Sandringham Yacht Club.

See also, Australian National Shipwreck Database: J-7 Submarine,
Sandringham Yacht Club: J7 Submarine, and
Heritage Council Victoria: J-7 Submarine.

Latitude: 37° 56.683′ S   (37.944722° S / 37° 56′ 41″ S)
Longitude: 144° 59.600′ E   (144.993333° E / 144° 59′ 36″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2019-03-23 02:17:08 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: Sandringham Pier Breakwater, 101 m, bearing 88°, E
J-Class Submarine, 1820 ton.
Built: Dyfed, Wales, 1916.
Scuttled: 6 August 1930.
See the J7 Submarine dive site page

Medea

Wreck Dive Boat access
Inside Port Phillip Bay Open Water Rated Wreck Dive Site

Sailing Vessel | Max Depth: 2 metres (6.6 feet)

Coal carrier from Newcastle, return voyages - sundries. Passed through Port Phillip Heads about 8 pm but returned due to gale. Ran ashore but refused help of Queenscliff lifeboat, even though vessel was filling fast. Other efforts failed too - a survey showed vessel breaking up fast so put in hands of underwriters. Only insured for small amount as owners were considering venture of larger steam colliers. Medea, one of their fleet of coal barques, operated mostly between Newcastle, Geelong and Melbourne.

See also, Australian National Shipwreck Database: Medea, and
Heritage Council Victoria: Medea.

Latitude: 38° 15.500′ S   (38.258333° S / 38° 15′ 30″ S)
Longitude: 144° 43.250′ E   (144.720833° E / 144° 43′ 15″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2019-04-07 02:14:58 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: William Salthouse, 1,991 m, bearing 219°, SW
Wooden Sailing Vessel.
Built: 1858.
Sunk: 10 September 1880.
Depth: 2 m.
See the Medea dive site page

Monarch

Wreck Dive Boat access
Inside Port Phillip Bay Open Water Rated Wreck Dive Site

Wooden Sailing Barque | Max Depth: 4 metres (13 feet)

The Monarch was purchased by E.M. Sayers, in 1852, for Melbourne trade. The Monarch sunk on 17 July 1867 while on a voyage from Melbourne to Newcastle. Attempts to refloat the vessel by steam tug Resolute failed. Seabird, close by, broke up about same time. Titan also failed in rescue attempt. Monarch's pumps unable to cope. Abandoned to underwriters. Remains auctioned for 350 pounds, then re-sold for 17 pounds cash. Registry closed 6 Aug 1867.

The Monarch is archaeologically significant as one of the most complete wooden wrecks in Victoria.

See also, Australian National Shipwreck Database: Monarch, and
Heritage Council Victoria: Monarch.

Latitude: 38° 12.640′ S   (38.210667° S / 38° 12′ 38.4″ S)
Longitude: 144° 43.304′ E   (144.721733° E / 144° 43′ 18.24″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2019-03-11 02:52:07 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: Foig a Ballagh, 397 m, bearing 27°, NNE
Wooden Sailing Barque.
Built: 1836.
Sunk: 17 July 1867.
Depth: 4 m.
See the Monarch dive site page

Pinafore

Wreck Dive Boat access
Inside Port Phillip Bay Wreck Dive Site

Iron Steam Launch

The Pinafore rig is listed as a steam launch. While being towed up Bay by the steam tug Amy, the Pinafore began shipping water in strong sea. Bailing was ineffectual, so Captain Wilkins stopped Amy's engines to allow Pinafore's crew to board for safety. Just as Pinafore ranged alongside a heavy sea broke over the vessel, causing it to founder head first.

See also, Australian National Shipwreck Database: Pinafore, and
Heritage Council Victoria: Pinafore.

Latitude: 38° 4.682′ S   (38.078033° S / 38° 4′ 40.92″ S)
Longitude: 144° 49.406′ E   (144.823433° E / 144° 49′ 24.36″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2019-03-11 02:42:42 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: Eleutheria, 140 m, bearing 78°, ENE
Iron Cutter.
Sunk: 27 October 1893.
See the Pinafore dive site page

Omega

Wreck Dive Boat access
Inside Port Phillip Bay Open Water Rated Slack Water Wreck Dive Site

Wooden Sailing Schooner | Max Depth: 6 metres (20 feet)

The schooner Omega entered the West Channel in foggy weather too far to the east of the West Channel Pile Light. Despite steering the correct course the vessel went aground on the eastern bank of the West Channel. The captain could not see the buoys at the time due to the foggy weather.

The tug Rescue attempted tow the vessel free but the Omega filled with water. The remains were sold for six pounds. The Omega had recently had a thorough overhaul before its last voyage. Vessel and cargo insured (sum not known). Register closed 30 Nov. 1897 Charge of misconduct preferred against Capt. Carr not sustained by Court of Marine Inquiry but cautioned him to be more careful in future - error of judgement.

The Omega is archaeologically significant as the well preserved remains of a small Australian-built coastal trading vessel typical of the fleet that sailed around south-eastern Australia i.e.: representative of a type.

See also, Australian National Shipwreck Database: Omega, and
Heritage Council Victoria: Omega.

Latitude: 38° 13.473′ S   (38.22455° S / 38° 13′ 28.38″ S)
Longitude: 144° 44.118′ E   (144.7353° E / 144° 44′ 7.08″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2019-03-11 02:36:01 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: Swallow, 1,869 m, bearing 189°, S
Wooden Sailing Schooner.
Built: 1893.
Sunk: 1 October 1887.
Depth: 6 m.
See the Omega dive site page

Ozone

Wreck Dive Shore access
Ideal For Snorkelling Inside Port Phillip Bay Open Water Rated Wreck Dive Site

Depth: 2 metres (6.6 feet) to 4 metres (13 feet)

Ozone
Ozone
© Unknown

Level: Open Water and beyond.

The Ozone was a bay paddle steamer and it was sunk in October 1925, together with the Dominon, to form a breakwater for the bay near Indented Head.

Head out over the shallow sandy bottom to the Ozone 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.

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,
Australian National Shipwreck Database: Ozone, and
Heritage Council Victoria: Ozone.

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
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2019-03-23 02:14:24 GMT
Source: Google Earth
Nearest Neighbour: Dominion, 13 m, bearing 322°, NW
Bay steamer.
Built: Glasgow, 1886.
Sunk: 1925.
Depth: 2 to 4 m.
See the Ozone dive site page

Queenscliffe

Wreck Dive Shore access
Ideal For Snorkelling Inside Port Phillip Bay Open Water Rated Wreck Dive Site

Wooden Screw Steamer

The Queenscliffe shipwreck lies in Port Phillip, at the RAAF Seaplane Jetty, Point Cook.

The Queenscliffe was built in 1905 at the Domain Slipyard, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia. She founded at the end of the RAAF Seaplane Jetty on 30 December 1973. Divers later found the Queenscliffe was resting on top of an unknown wreck.

See also, Heritage Council Victoria: Queenscliffe, and
Australian National Shipwreck Database: Queenscliffe.

Latitude: 37° 56.600′ S   (37.943333° S / 37° 56′ 36″ S)
Longitude: 144° 44.800′ E   (144.746667° E / 144° 44′ 48″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2019-03-11 02:09:15 GMT, Last updated: 2019-03-11 02:20:38 GMT
Source: GPS.
Nearest Neighbour: Point Cooke Beach, 2,748 m, bearing 56°, NE
Wooden Screw Steamer.
Built: 1905.
Sunk: 30 December 1973.
See the Queenscliffe dive site page

Restless

Wreck Dive Boat access
Ideal For Snorkelling Inside Port Phillip Bay Open Water Rated Wreck Dive Site

The Restless was built in Nova Scotia in 1866, registered in Melbourne in 1888 and involved in coastal trade. It was damaged by fire in Melbourne in 1890, and sold and converted into a lighter in 1890-91.

The Restless was being towed by the tug Otter to Geelong along with another lighter the Orange Grove (Age 23/01/1902) when it met with the full fury of a gale with 50 mph winds. The hawser of the Restless broke and the anchor dropped, but did not hold.

Aboard the Restless were a lighterman and his wife and two children, who suffered exposure and anxiety during the Restless' drift across Port Phillip Bay. Fortunately the Restless went ashore on sand and didn't break up, and the family was rescued by Mr Hamilton, fisherman of Carrum, and a party of oarsmen.

The Restless lies north of the Patterson River mouth in Port Phillip. It is recreationally significant being close to shore, and easily accessed by divers and snorkellers.

See also, Australian National Shipwreck Database: Restless, and
Heritage Council Victoria: Restless.

Latitude: 38° 4.342′ S   (38.072367° S / 38° 4′ 20.52″ S)
Longitude: 145° 7.133′ E   (145.118883° E / 145° 7′ 7.98″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2019-03-10 23:36:39 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: Tedesco Reef Seaford, 2,618 m, bearing 230°, SW
Wooden Lighter.
Built: Nova Scotia, Canada, 1866.
Sunk: January 1902.
See the Restless dive site page

Sea Bird

Wreck Dive Boat access
Inside Port Phillip Bay Open Water Rated Wreck Dive Site

Wooden Sailing Barquentine | Max Depth: 11 metres (36 feet)

The Sea Bird (aka Seabird) was a Wooden Sailing Barquentine built in Bath, Maine, USA in 1864. It ran ashore on 19 June 1867 near West Channel lightship about 1:40 pm. Despite attempts by crew and steamers Pharos, Black Eagle and Resolute, efforts to refloat vessel failed.

See also, Australian National Shipwreck Database: Sea Bird, and
Heritage Council Victoria: Sea Bird.

Latitude: 38° 12.100′ S   (38.201667° S / 38° 12′ 6″ S)
Longitude: 144° 44.833′ E   (144.747217° E / 144° 44′ 49.98″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2019-03-10 23:22:07 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: West Channel Pile, 1,162 m, bearing 45°, NE
Wooden Sailing Barquentine.
Built: 1864.
Sunk: 19 June 1867.
Depth: 11 m.
See the Sea Bird dive site page

S.F. Hersey

Wreck Dive Boat access
Inside Port Phillip Bay Wreck Dive Site

Coal Hulk

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.

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: 2019-03-10 23:01:36 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: J3 Swan Island Submarine, 149 m, bearing 5°, N
Coal Hulk.
Built: 1865.
Sunk: 21 May 1923.
See the S.F. Hersey dive site page

Swallow

Wreck Dive Boat access
Inside Port Phillip Bay Open Water Rated Wreck Dive Site

Wooden Sailing Schooner | Max Depth: 6 metres (20 feet)

The Swallow was a wooden sailing schooner built in 1860 in South Australia and wrecked in Victoria on 2nd June 1922. The Swallow served sixty years in service around coast and in Port Phillip. Formerly a fishing cutter. Purchased after World War I for Apollo Bay. Blew ashore at Apollo Bay in January 1922 but was refloated. Now lies in Port Phillip Bay, between West and Loelia Channels.

Diving the Swallow

The site lies in about 8 feet (2.4 metres) of water with its long axis at 165 degrees. The length from the two further visible parts of the wreck is 14 metres (46 feet) and approx 4 metres (13 feet) wide where there are ribs opposite each other.

At the stern there is a large wooden post, possibly the stern post. If so then there is substantially more on the port side of the vessel. This structure has a number of ribs and a large timber beside them. Towards the middle of the site there are some lead pipes/rods and some stone and bricks exposed. Towards the bow on the starboard side there are a couple of ribs and what appears to be inner and outer hull planking. The upper portion of all the timbers have growth and worn damage, but the lower portions are in good condition. Just forward of the starboard timbers there is a large metal ballard, the base appeared to be lead and there are some iron concretions on the top.

See also, Australian National Shipwreck Database: Swallow, and
Heritage Council Victoria: Swallow.

Latitude: 38° 14.467′ S   (38.241117° S / 38° 14′ 28.02″ S)
Longitude: 144° 43.900′ E   (144.731667° E / 144° 43′ 54″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2019-03-10 22:45:38 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: Omega, 1,869 m, bearing 9°, N
Wooden Sailing Schooner.
Built: 1860.
Sunk: 2 June 1922.
Depth: 6 m.
See the Swallow dive site page

Unidentified - Queenscliff

Wreck Dive Boat access
Inside Port Phillip Bay Open Water Rated Wreck Dive Site

This unidentified wreck lies in Port Phillip, Northeast of Queenscliff on the edge of the West Channel.

The wreck consists off some large timbers possibly a section of keel or keelson, with planking attached. A small amount of coal also present along with copper alloy fastenings. No sign of other wreckage.

See also, Heritage Council Victoria: Unidentified: Queenscliff, and
Australian National Shipwreck Database: Unidentified: Queenscliff.

Latitude: 38° 15.900′ S   (38.265° S / 38° 15′ 54″ S)
Longitude: 144° 41.100′ E   (144.685° E / 144° 41′ 6″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2019-03-11 02:20:38 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: Gambier, 1,342 m, bearing 220°, SW
Unidentified wreck near Queenscliff.
See the Unidentified - Queenscliff dive site page

Uralba

Wreck Dive Boat access
Inside Port Phillip Bay Open Water Rated Wreck Dive Site

Wooden Coal Burner | Max Depth: 18 metres (59 feet)

Uralba, Station Pier
Uralba, Station Pier
© Alan C. Green

The Uralba (aka SS Uralba, HMAS Uralba) lies at a depth of 18 metres (59 feet) off Carrum in Port Phillip on a silty bottom and rises 5 metres (16 feet) from the seabed. The main deck, bridge deck superstructure and all machinery were removed before scuttling. The bare hull sits upright, with the only penetrable part being the forward accommodation area. Lying next to the Uralba on the starboard side about midships is a small 20 ft (6.1 m) steel vessel, sunk at the same time.

Diving The Uralba

The Uralba's bridge deck, along with all machinery, were removed before scuttling. The bare hull sits upright, with the only penetrable part being the forward accommodation area.

The fore mast lies on the deck, removed and obviously laid there before sinking. The mast still has the steel ladder attached and is on the port side. The rudder has broken away and lies in the sand just off the stern. All bollards are still visible on the deck, along with many other fittings such as fairleads, ladders, and a derrick pulley.

A section near the stern is still tiled and was apparently the galley area. The four water tanks are visible below the deck on port and starboard sides.

A small amount of damage has been done to the hull over the years by scallop dredges, four of which lie along side the vessel. A large amount of the decking has begun to deteriorate and is beginning to collapse.

Lying next to the Uralba on the starboard side about midships is a small 20 feet (6.1 metres) steel vessel, sunk at the same time. The Uralba is a wonderful dive.

The Uralba is home to a large number of fish. Visibility is often very poor and the wreck is covered in sediment which is easily stirred up. Avoid periods after rain and dive on the flood tide. Beware of fishing line tangles and irate fishermen who seem to believe the dive site is their personal property.


Uralba wreck dive by Michael Mallis, BSAC (Bass Strait Aqua Club).

Uralba History

Uralba Steamer
Uralba Steamer
© Unknown

The HMAS Uralba was a wooden hulled single screw steamer. In the early 1940s, the North Coast Steam Navigation Company (NCSN Co), was in need of another vessel so an order was placed with E. Wright of Tuncurry, New South Wales, Shipbuilder. In 1942 the ship was completed and named Uralba. This was the last wooden coal burner built in Australia. The vessel still needed to be fitted out and subsequently was towed to Sydney. Here the Uralba was fitted with second hand machinery from the Ex-Sydney ferry Kuramia, an engine from the ferry Vaucluse, and the boiler from an old coaster called the Malachite.

Before the Uralba ever made a voyage for the NCSN Co, it was requestioned by the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) on 13 July 1942 for service in WWII. The Navy fitted out the Uralba to suit the task it was to perform; it was painted grey and armed with one 4 inch gun and one 20 mm cannon. The Uralba was based in Brisbane at first, where it operated as an auxiliary boom defence vessel and minefield tender. In 1944 it was sent to Milne Bay, New Guinea. There the ship was used as an armament and stores carrier. After the war when the Navy no longer had a use for the Uralba, it was sent back to Sydney. In 1947 it was completely refitted under the supervision of the Navy and returned to the North Coast Steam Navigation Company.

The Uralba was used for coastal trade by the NCSN Co, but in less than six months work had run out and the Uralba was put up to be sold. At this time the State Electricity Commission (SEC) of Victoria was in need of a vessel to carry building materials from Tasmania to the mainland for the construction of the Latrobe Valley power stations. On 20 July 1948 the SEC took delivery of the Uralba and the firm F.H. Stephens Pty Ltd was appointed as the managing agents for the vessel.

The Uralba made its first voyage for the SEC on 11 September 1948. In the three years that it served the SEC, it made a total of sixty four voyages. On each voyage it would bring back Tasmanian timber, cement and fibro-cement sheeting. On its return voyages, the Uralba generally carried cars, trucks and general goods to be sold in Tasmania. The SEC was pleased with the Uralba as it saved time and money on the construction program in the Latrobe Valley, although the crew was not of the same opinion. The ship apparently did not handle all too well in rough seas due to its flat bottom. The Captain had on many occasions requested the vessel be fitted with a bilge keel to offer some sort of stability. However, this was never done. In late 1951, the SEC had run out of need for the Uralba, and it was hired out for a period of eight months. It was later sold in September 1953 to the A and A Steamship Trading Syndicate of NSW.

Benny Gelbart of Footscray bought the vessel for conversion to a Northern Territory cattle boat but it sank on the 4 May 1960 in the Maribyrnong River — caulking had deteriorated. It was salvaged, re-caulked, and towed to a mooring opposite to the Charles Grimes Bridge on the Maribyrnong. Eleven of its natural knees were used in the reconstruction of the Golden Plover, now in Queensland. In 1964 the Uralba was purchased by Duncan and Russell Pty Ltd of Melbourne. Its engines where removed and was used as a dumb lighter.

The Uralba was allocated to the Department of Conservation, Forests and Lands for their artificial reef program. This program resulted in a number of reefs being established in Port Phillip and Western Port, including the George Kermode off Phillip Island.

Uralba Under Tow
Uralba Under Tow
© Unknown

On 5 November 1971 the Uralba was towed for the Fisheries and Wildlife Department by the Ports and Harbors tug Fury to the Carrum Artificial Reef. There she was scuttled with an old 20 ft (6.1 m) pleasure boat condemned by the Marine Board. She was blown with the use of twenty sticks of gelignite by 'Buck' Taylor — debris went everywhere. Mr Alan Clark, in charge of towing the Uralba, stated that the amount of gelignite used to sink the vessel was far in excess of what was required. His personal view was that one stick would have done the job. As a result a large section of the keel and planking was blown out. Straight after the sinking Mr Clark dived on the Uralba and commented on the damage in the hold where part of the hull was missing. Timbers from the Uralba washed up on Melbourne beaches for weeks after. The Uralba is now home to a large number of fish and is occasionally visited by scuba divers who probably don't realise the vessel's colourful history.

Uralba Technical Details

  • Engine: Single Screw, Triple Expansion Engine 14 in x 22.25 in x 37 in. 21 inch Stroke, 81 HP. Engine Built 1914.
  • Speed: 8 1/4 knots on trial. Average 7 knots.
  • Coal Burner Bunker Capacity: 75 tons, Consumption 10 1/2 tons per day.
  • Boiler: Muir and Huston, Single ended Scotch, 3 Furnaces, l60 lbs, Bower built 1894
  • Hull: Wooden Hull (Turpentine)
  • Carvel built
  • Straight Stem
  • Counter Stern
  • 3 Bulk Heads
  • 2 Masts
  • Tonnage: Gross 602.84 Net 312.14
  • Length: 154 feet (47 metres)
  • Breadth: 36 feet (11 metres)
  • Depth: 9.75 feet (3 metres)
  • Hold Capacity: l8,340 cu ft, Length 76 feet (23 metres)
  • Water tanks: 40 ft (12 m) x 60 ft (18 m)
  • 2 x 10 tons Boiler feed tanks
  • 4 x 8.5 tons Fresh water tanks
  • 1 x 11.5 tons Fresh water tanks

The overall length of the Uralba was approximately 154 feet (47 metres), beam 35 feet (11 metres) and draught 9.75 feet (3 metres) giving a displacement weight of 603 tonne (665 short tons)..

See also Wikipedia: HMAS Uralba,
Australian National Shipwreck Database: Uralba,
MAAV: Uralba 1942-1971, and
Heritage Council Victoria: Uralba.

Latitude: 38° 4.731′ S   (38.07885° S / 38° 4′ 43.86″ S)
Longitude: 145° 2.285′ E   (145.038083° E / 145° 2′ 17.1″ E)
Datum: WGS84 Google Map
Added: 2012-07-22 01:00:00 GMT, Last updated: 2019-03-20 07:33:00 GMT
Source: GPS
Nearest Neighbour: Firefly Aircraft 2, 3,280 m, bearing 225°, SW
ex SEC freighter, wooden coal burner.
Built: Tuncurry, NSW, 1942.
Sunk: 5 November 1971.
Depth: 18 m.
See the Uralba dive site page


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.

If you don't understand the differences between the different ways coordinates are given, plus how different datum come into play, you might find the article GPS Conversions by Lloyd Borrett a useful read. It describes the problems associated with locating dive sites using a GPS receiver.

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