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Depth: 66m, Difficulty: TECH
GPS: -38.535267 145.146667 ( 38°32.116'S 145°8.800'E )
Last Edited: 12/24/2022, 4:53:01 PM


The Coramba (aka TSS Coramba) is socially and historically significant, as one of Victoria's worst shipwreck tragedies in living memory. Relatives of those who were lost are still alive, and the tragedy claimed the lives of fathers and breadwinners during the Depression. 17 lives were lost in the tragedy.

After 7 years of searching the TSS Coramba was discovered by Southern Ocean Exploration (SOE) on the 29th May 2011 approximately 10 nm (19 km) south of Seal Rocks, Victoria.

The shipwreck of the Coramba lies in a north-south direction, with the bow pointing towards the south. The vessel is lying on its port side, almost upside down.

The TSS Coramba was built in 1911, for the North Coast Steam Navigation Company by Ailsa Ship Building Co Ltd at Troon, Scotland and launched 15 August 1911. She was a 531 l-ton (540 t) displacement twin screw steamer that measured 160 ft (49 m) long, 30 ft (9.14 m) wide and 10 ft (3.05 m) deep.

The Coramba served the Western District ports and had replaced the Casino which had also been tragically wrecked two years before. The wrecks of the Casino and Coramba were the death knell for steamship services to the Western District as railways and road transport replaced shipping for trade. 'The Coramba Gale' in which the Coramba foundered is still one of the worst storms recorded to have hit Victoria, with widespread flooding, wind damage and property loss in the south-eastern Melbourne metropolitan district.

The Coramba left Warrnambool at 1 pm, on 29 November 1934 bound for Melbourne with a cargo of wool and Nestles Condensed Milk. It was due to arrive at about 7 am the following morning. Overnight the weather worsened and became a furious storm. The ship never arrived, and grave fears were held for its safety.

In early December, parts of the Coramba's deckhouse (identified by the vessel's bell) and other wreckage came ashore on the southern coast of Phillip Island along with a number of bodies. Well-known Victorian diver Johnno Johnstone was called in to locate the hull. Johnstone reported finding the hull in 27 fm (49 m) of water about 1.5 mi (2.41 km) west of Seal Rocks. However, attempts to relocate the vessel failed.

Dive Type: Wreck Dive

Imported from The Scuba Doctor


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