Submarines your passion? Victoria has an amazing fleet of four World War One ‘J’ class submarine wreck dive sites which attract divers from around the world.
J1 or New Deep Sub – Depth: 38 metres
Divers who were searching for the J4 with their echo sounder set on the wrong scale discovered this Submarine shortly after the J4. Also known as the”New Deep Sub” or the “Winged Sub”, she sits almost on her keel on the sandy bottom. Due to the fine sand in the area, she is prone to silting. The J1 runs east-west, with her bow facing east. She points toward the surface and divers can swim under this section. Penetration is possible, although very hazardous. Fine silt and tight doorways add to the danger. Again, guidelines and good torches are needed and twin independent or manifold scuba cylinders are highly recommended for this dive.
J2 or Broken Sub -Depth: 39 metres
This is the deepest of all the J Class Submarines, lying in 39metres of water. She is commonly referred to as the “Broken Sub”. She lies on her keel and is broken in two places, and the section behind her conning tower has collapsed, making it the most hazardous of all the J ClassSubmarines to dive. She is subject to fine silting and penetration is not recommended. The J2 supports prolific fish life and masses of brilliantly coloured benthic invertebrates. Due to her location, which is subject to shipping traffic, she is rarely dived.
J3 – Depth: 6 metres
Actually sitting on top of an old timber wreck called the SF Hersey, the J3 is in very shallow water. Most of the top deck lies above water and is an interesting snorkel. Underwater, the old timbers of the SF Hersey in conjunction with the bow and stern of the Submarine make for an excellent dive or snorkel. This site is subject to strong currents and is subsequently dived on slack water only. For a taste of wreck diving, the J3 is a fantastic appetiser.
J4 or 26m Sub – Depth: 26 metres
ThisSubmarine was discovered in 1984. Brass fittings and other artifacts give divers a chance to see what it was like to be a sub-mariner. TheJ4 lies on her keel running north-south. Her bow section, which has broken away from the main body, lies facing south, while her stern faces north.
The broken bow section of the Submarine contains four torpedo tubes, which can be easily seen by using a torch and positioning yourself between the bow and the main body. This is the most popular of the J Class Submarines due to its relatively shallow depth, which enables good bottom times. This site is frequently used as a training ground for those on Wreck Diver courses.
J5 or Intact Sub – Depth: 36 metres
This unbroken Submarine sits on her keel and leans slightly on her starboard side and runs east-west. Her bow faces east while her stern west. Penetration is possible; however, the stern section and the bow, which contains the torpedo tubes, is very tight and silting is a problem -reels and torches are highly recommended. On the stern of the J5, divers can admire the large rudder and drive shafts. Swimming through the rudder is easy. This is one of the most photographed of the submarines due to the yellow Zoanthids on the conning tower. To Scuba dive and or to penetrate the J5 Submarine, the proper certifications are required to be shown, and the use of twin independent or manifold scuba cylinders is highly recommended.