Overlapping pieces of wreckage

Dive sites: SS Oakburn

Fish at the entrance to Maori Bay
Fish at the entrance to Maori Bay

The SS Oakburn lies almost underneath the stern of the BOS 400 wreck at the entrance to Maori Bay. The Oakburn was a British cargo steamer, wrecked in a fog in 1906. Three years later the SS Maori ran aground in the same bay. Like the nearby SS Maori her cargo was mixed, including railway lines, glassware and oil.

Beams and spars
Beams and spars

I’ve dived the BOS 400 several times, but she’s such a large and absorbing wreck that I’ve never swum far enough towards the mouth of Maori Bay to encounter the Oakburn. We had the opportunity to do this in mid January, and we spent a bit of time looking for the Oakburn wreckage.

Some of the cargo of the Oakburn
Some of the cargo of the Oakburn

It’s a fairly subtle change, but distinct if you’re looking out for it. Among the boulders are long beams, pipes, and the signs of a much older ship. She’s very broken up these days, but interesting nonetheless. Word is that after a storm the sand is churned up and new pieces of wreck are visible.

Dive date: 13 January 2013

Air temperature: 27 degrees

Water temperature: 10 degrees

Maximum depth:  22.8 metres

Visibility: 10 metres

Dive duration: 34 minutes

Wreckage of the Oakburn
Wreckage of the Oakburn

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Clare

Lapsed mathematician, creator of order, formulator of hypotheses. Lover of the ocean, being outdoors, the bush, reading, photography, travelling (especially in Africa) and road trips.

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