Hurricane

Hurricane
Open Water
12m – 14m
The Hurricane was a 1200 ton iron ship, built in 1853. On the 20th April 1869, while entering Port Phillip Heads, 3 months out from Liverpool, she struck a submerged rock off Point Lonsdale (probably Lonsdale Rock). Her Master, Captain Johnston, inspected the hole, and finding no water continued to Melbourne. A short time later, the Hurricane was found to be taking on water rather badly. She eventually sank off Rosebud in about 12m. Only half the 2000 tons of cargo was ever salvaged. Being in the South Channel, the wreck represented a hazard to shipping and was blasted. Today the wreckage is spread over an extensive area. Despite this there are still recognisable pieces of the ship. The wreck site is covered with steel plates, girders, and wooden beams. A small section of the stern stands about 2.5m off the seabed and is the most intact part of the ship. Near the bow, a large capstan is visible, amidst a complicated mass of twisted metal. The observant diver will notice star pickets protruding from the bottom. These were placed by the Victorian Archaeological Survey when it mapped the site. As with most wreck sites, the Hurricane forms an artificial reef, which is now home to many fish, as well as other forms of marine life. This makes for an enjoyable dive and the keen diver can usually find a good number of scallops close to the wreck. A concrete cairn outlining the history of the Hurricane has been placed near the stern. As this wreck is popular with fishermen during the snapper fishing season, it is important to be alert for boats and fishing lines. Despite being several kilometres from the Heads, the Hurricane is only dived at slack water. This is about 2.5 hours after the scheduled slack water at Port Phillip Heads. The Hurricane is a declared Historic Shipwreck and so the removal of any materials is strictly prohibited.
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