If you love diving and exploring, you’ll want to visit the SS Yongala Wreck off Australia’s coast.
Although there are many shipwrecks scattered around Australia’s coastline, the SS Yongala Wreck is one of the top destinations for divers looking for something extra in their diving trip.
During a cyclone in 1911, the S.S. Yongala met an untimely fate as it sank off the coast of Townsville, Australia, taking all of its passengers with it. The vessel was posted as missing on March 26, 1911 but seven search vessels were unable to find the missing ship. The only trace of the sunken ship was bits of boards and a racehorse named Moonshine that eventually washed up on shore not far from Townsville. This steel and timber steamship found its final resting place in the middle of a sandy, flat shipping channel, where it was lost without a trace until it was finally discovered in 1958.
Although the SS Yongala Wreck is the only solid structure for miles, you can still explore the rudder, masts, engine, steam room, toilets, port-holes and more. Despite sinking, the ship remains intact with no evidence of an explosion or collision, leaving the unanswered question of just how the ship met it’s fate as the anchors remain hoisted. It’s the perfect wreckage for shipwreck diving enthusiasts.
This historic and luxury passenger wreckage is now a cultural landmark after being in the water for 100 years. As the wreckage is protected under the Historic Shipwrecks Act of 1976, divers aren’t permitted to enter the wreckage as it can result in damage, but that doesn’t take away from the mystery and magnificence of the SS Yongala Wreck.
The wreckage doesn’t just draw divers because it’s a sunken ship, but also because of the natural wonders that surround it too. The wreckage is now covered in brightly colored corals and sea fans. You’ll also witness large pelagics, sharks, barracuda and a variety of vibrant fish and other marine life.
Not only will you get to explore the historical SS Yongala Wreck in fairly shallow waters, but you’ll also get to seek adventure in the water of the Great Barrier Reef– which beauty can’t be matched anywhere else in the world. Whether you’re in the area for a diving trip or are a fan of shipwreck diving, the Yongala Wreck won’t leave you disappointed as it has become a piecee of history and a haven to vibrant and diverse marine life
COMPARISON OF TITANIC AND SS YONGALA SHIPWRECKS
Titanic sank just over 1 year after the Yongala
TITANIC SS YONGALA
Owner White Star Line Adelaide Steamshi Company
Built Belfast, Ireland Newcastle on Tyne, England
Cost 7,500,000 Pounds 102,000 Pounds
Launched 1911 1903
Gross Tonnage 46328 3664
Length 882 feet 350 feet
Breadth 92feet 46feet 3 inches
Funnels 4 1
Engines 3 1
Boilers 29 5
Speed 22 knots 15 knots
Crew 991 72
Passenger Capacity 3547 240
Marconi Radio 2 nil (one about to be fitted)
Fate Sunk by Iceberg Sunk by cyclone
Date of sinking 12/04/1912 23/03/1911
Conditions CALM EXTREME STORM
First Class 199/329 60.50% 0/30 0%
Second Class 119/285 41.70% 0/19 0%
Third Class 174/710 24.50% N/A
Crew 214/991 23.80% 0/72 0%
Total 706/2223 31.80% 0/121 0%
Bodies Found 333 nil (one racehorse)
Depth of Wreck 12500 feet (3810m) 100 feet (30.5m)
Sonar Discovery 1985 1947
First Visited 1986 1958
Protected No Yes – Historic Shipwrecks Act