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SS Yongala
Cleaned up debris: 0 lb
Coral Sea, Australia
Booked 0 Planned 0
SS Yongala information SS Yongala's wall SS Yongala photos
Briefing map added by DiversHotSpot AB Map 1 of 1  
Location Coral Sea, Australia
Water type Salt water
Average current Not available
Average logged depth Not available meters (Not available feet)
Maximum logged depth Not available meters (Not available feet)
DiversHotSpot AB2012-01-13Report
The Yongala, built 29 April 1903 in Newcastle, is one of the most attractive dive sites in Australia due to its history and diverse marine life. During a cyclone on 23 March 1911 the ship SS Yongala sank south of Townsville, killing all the 122 people aboard. The mystery around the ship was increased as it was not found until 1958, since then the SS Yongala is considered an internationally regarded dive site and tourist attraction.

The steamship Yongala cannot be penetrated by divers as it is protected by the Australian government as a historical site and air bubbles from divers would speed up the corrosion. The ship lays on its right side in sandy bottom at a depth of 28 m (92 ft.).

The steamship had a single propeller powered by a large triple expansion steam engine. The official top speed was 15.8 knots; however Yongala often reached speeds of 17 knots. The ship is 107 m long (350 ft.) with a weight of a little over 3,6 tons.

On the morning of 23 March, Yongala steamed into Mackay to drop off and receive passengers and discharge 50 tons of cargo, leaving 617 tons in the lower hold. By 1:40 pm she departed, carrying 49 passengers and 73 crew members, making a total of 122 people. Yongala was still in sight of land when the signal station at Flat Top (Mackay) received a telegram warning of a cyclone in the area between Townsville and Mackay. Unfortunately, a wireless destined for installation in Yongala had only recently been dispatched from the Marconi Company in England so the Yongala never received the warning. Five hours later, the lighthouse keeper on Dent Island in the Whitsunday Passage watched Yongala steam past into the worsening weather. It was the last known sighting.

The marine life is fantastic around the wreck and you could spot bull sharks, manta rays, turtles, morays, barracuda, groupers, and much more.
The more interesting parts of the SS Yongala are the rudder that is still intact as well as the masts. You can also look inside the cargo holds and engine room, don’t forget your flashlight.

Due to the open location of where the Yongala sunk it can be a tricky dive with strong currents, there is no reefs around as it lies on a flat sandy bottom.