Diving the wrecksite of the S.S. Courier

Location - Images - History - References

   Gallery    Home    Legislation    Links    Members    Project Index   

The Courier lies on her keel in 42 meters of water in the north east corner of the ships graveyard Commonwealth Area #3 south of Point Lonsdale.

Resting on her keel on a white sandy bottom the Courier is bow to stern on a north to south alignment. The Courier is broken into three main sections - bow, boilers and stern section. Both bow and stern have a 45 degree list to starboard. The bow largely intact has three partially penetrable levels. Disintegrating wooden foredeck planking and starboard bow rails can be seen here standing 7 metres proud of the bottom.
Directly south of the bow the hull and deck has mostly collapsed leaving a main deck hatch coaming sitting on the bottom. Huge twin in-line boilers lie amidships with their fire boxes penetratable to inquisitive divers.
The stem is also an impressive sight, but it is less structurally intact than the bow. The shape of the vessel's counter stern is still recognisable, and just forward of this, there is the remains of some superstructure. There is a penetratable section in the stern area where mosaic floor tiles in 1st class smoking section are visible.
Artefacts amongst the wreckage include bottles, tiles and broken crockery.

Often described as an oasis in the middle of a sandy desert the Courier exposed to strong nutrient rich currents has become an anchor point for many temperate water flora and fauna. Brightly coloured multiformed sponges, anemones, hydrozoans, ascidians and soft corals including masses of bright yellow zoanthids can be seen encrusting any exposed wreckage from bow to stern.
Schooling butterfly sea perch, common bullseye, pairs of oldwives and the occasional blue devilfish have taken up residence and occasionally large crays can be seen at home under the massive boilers.

Located in the ships graveyard Commonwealth Area #3 an area some 6 kilometres in diameter and ranging in depth from 40 to 60 metres the Courier like all vessels in the ships graveyard was declared historic on January 31 1996.
The remains of the Courier is located in the shipping channel so clearance is required from shipping. An area exposed to strong currents diving the Courier should only be attempted at slack water by suitably qualified divers.                                                                                                                                            

  • Do you have any comments or questions regarding the S.S.Courier project report?
  • If you have dived on the S.S.Courier have you any comments concerning the site?
  • Do you have any information / photographs historical or otherwise which you believe may be useful to the MAAV for inclusion in the project report?
  • Full credit will be given to any material if published.

Your comments are appreciated.


This site was constructed and is maintained by Eric F. Langenberg.

The contents of this site - text, images, and data - are intended for personal information only.
   Written permission from the M.A.A.V. is required for the publication of any material.
  Any use of this material should credit the Maritime Archaeology Association Of Victoria.
Copyright (c) 1999 : Maritime Archaeology Association Of Victoria, Inc.     All rights reserved.
Last modified: March, 2011