New Australian wreck opens to scuba divers
(Australian Broadcasting Company) – The ex-HMAS Canberra has been given the all clear and will open to scuba divers in waters nearly four kilometres off Ocean Grove this weekend.
Parks Victoria has given the ship a final safety inspection and it opened to divers last Saturday.
The ship lies in 28 metres of water and is expected to provide excellent diving year round.
Victoria’s Tourism Minister, Tim Holding took a dive at the site in late October and described it as “spectacular” and a new “underwater playground” for divers.
He said unlike most shipwrecks, many of the ex-HMAS Canberra’s original fixtures have been preserved for divers to discover.
“Divers will have the opportunity to explore a large portion of the ship including flight decks, the bridge, engine rooms, the galley and the accommodation quarters,” Mr Holding said.
“The dive site offers a unique experience which will only get better with time as sea life develops in and around the wreck,” he said.
The ex-HMAS Canberra dive site is 20 to 25 minutes by boat from Portsea or Queenscliff.
There are four moorings, and the site can accommodate approximately 60 divers at any one time.
Two of the moorings were allocated to Victoria’s largest dive operator, Dive Victoria.
The third mooring will be available to other licensed tour operators by permit and the fourth is open for bookings by the general public.
Bookings give divers exclusive use of a mooring for two hours for $30 per boat regardless of the number of divers on board.
The State Government provided $1.5 million towards the creation of the site.
For more details, go to www.HMASCanberra.com.au