Jo takes us diving to a site that will blow you away the water is chilly, the feeling is eerie and the experience is undeniably unbeatable.
HMAS Hobart was built in the United States and commissioned in 1965. It was given the name the "Green Ghost" for its colour and reputation as a quiet vessel, something that allowed it to slip into action without being noticed. It completed three tours of duty in South Vietnam in 1967, 1968 and 1970 and gave 35 years of naval service to Australia. In 1968 the ship was hit by "friendly fire" and two crew members lost their lives while a further seven were injured.
The Charles F. Adams class guided-missile destroyer was one of the last true destroyers, and was sister ship to HMAS Perth and HMAS Brisbane.
The Hobart was retired peacefully several years ago but late in 2002 she found a new career. As a dive site.
Alex Wyschnja and Christopher Deane dreamed of turning the Hobart into an artificial reef for diving enthusiasts and their passion, strategies, persistence and lobbying have paid off. Against strong interstate competition, they won and in 2000 the Federal Government gave the ship to South Australia.
Strategically placed charges sent the old girl to the bottom of Yankalilla Bay in South Australia's St Vincent Gulf. Neither imploded nor exploded, the ship was scuttled by controlled flooding and took just two minutes and 17 seconds to sink into 30m of water, forming an artificial reef 4.5 nautical miles offshore.
Divers are restricted to observing the exterior of the wreck and they see original fittings from the outside looking in tables, chairs, toilets and bunk. The bridge has two captain's chairs and the missile magazine and gun mounts can be sat upon.
Divers who are wreck dive-certified can dive inside the ship and have a good snoop around.
Sea life has been congregating around the wreck and marine plant and fish life is increasing all the time. Plants are growing over the wreck making it all the more mysterious and the fish love to dart in and around the former warship.
Proprietor Dave Gordon does not believe in mass diving he limits his numbers to 10 people a dive, and this lasts around 35 minutes.
Yankalilla Bay in South Australia.
Underwater Sports Diving Centre has single dives starting at $50 per person. They cater for all levels and operate year-round.
Please note prices are valid at time of transmission and to the best of our knowledge are inclusive of GST.
Underwater Sports Diving Centre
1048 Grand Junction Road, Holden Hill 5088
Ph: (08) 8263 3337 Fax: (08) 8395 0400
Mobile: 0419 845 firstname.lastname@example.org
Qantas: 13 13 13