History of the Yongala
The Yongala was built in 1903 by the Adelaide Steam Company of Australia in Newcastle, England.
At the time of its launch, its luxurious and extremely powerful steamship became known as the "Pride of Fleet".
For four years after arriving in Australia in 1904, he traveled on an important route connecting the cities of Western Australia and the cities of the East Coast, and while being luxuriously decorated, he was "powerful to push through in storms." It's a great ship. " Since that time, the Yongara has been operated by an experienced Captain Knight, and the captain's arm has become famous.
The Yongara is 106.6m long and 4104 tons. Equipped with a huge chimney and boiler, it was able to cruise at a speed of 17 knots per hour, which was extremely high at that time. In addition, the ample power generated by the boiler also operated luxurious inboard lighting, refrigeration equipment, and cabin fans, enabling an incredibly comfortable cruise at the time.
The Yongara moved to Brisbane in 1906 and will enter service on the route connecting Brisbane and the city of northern Queensland. At that time, Queensland had no railroads or roads yet, and the only means of transportation was by boat . The Yongara mainly connected Brisbane, Mackay, Townsville and Cairns and carried supplies with many people.
On March 21, 1911, he departed Brisbane, the 99th voyage in Australia, the last voyage of the Yongala, a little later than scheduled. The Yongara speeded up, arrived at Mackay on time, replaced passengers and supplies, and departed Mackay for Townsville on March 23. Upon arriving in Cairns, it was planned to install a new radio to commemorate the 100th voyage.
On that day, the Yongara, which departed from Mackay, had 29 first-class passengers, 19 second-class passengers, 72 crew members, and a racehorse named Moonshine. In addition, although it is not listed in the list, it is known that one 6-month-old baby was on board.
On the same day, a steamship called the Cooma, which was in Mackay, received information from the Meteorological Bureau about the cyclone that occurred between Mackay and Townsville, but a few hours before that, it left Mackay port after Yongara, and it is still The information did not reach Yongara, who had not loaded the radio.
The last sighting was on March 23, at 6:30 pm, when the lighthouse keeper on Dent Island, near Hamilton Island, saw the Yongara sailing along the route. After that, the Yongara, which was involved in the cyclone, disappeared.
The cyclone that allegedly attacked the Yongara is said to have been Category 5 (the largest on Earth). It is estimated that the wind speed exceeded 250 km / h and the wave height exceeded 10 m. Even a huge ship like the Yongara would not have been able to compete.
After that, many ships, including the Navy, went on a search, but no clue was found. Many islands were also sought hard, suspected of evacuating to some island in the Whitsunday Islands.
However, at 10:45 am on March 28, a telegram saying, "The luggage loaded near the bottom of the Yongara was launched on the sandy beach," shattered that hope.
After that, a number of wreckage revealed that the Yongara sank, but it was a mystery as to where it sank, and many years passed.
Until the treasure hunter in Townsville discovered the wreckage of the ship in 1958, the Yongara remained asleep on the seabed, with an incredible number of fish and giant fish. It was a place of residence. A huge shark appeared. There were widespread stories such as being threatened by a huge fish. The still-famous giant grouper (Queensland Grouper) was so big that it was named the (car) Volkswagen.
The Yongara was protected by national law in 1976 and became a world-famous diving site.
In 1989, the category 5 cyclone AIVU hit Yongara again, and the impact at that time blew off the deck of the ship, making it possible to see the inside of the ship such as the bathtub, toilet, engine room, etc. as it is now. became.
Most of the hull of the current Yongara is covered with coral, and it is surrounded by tens of thousands of fish and lies 30 meters below the sea floor.
A flock of 2m3m class round ribbontail rays, a flock of giant barracudas, a 3m queen's land grouper, a guitar shark, a leopard shark, a giant sea turtle, a tatami-sized giant trevally, a manta, a whale shark, a humpback whale, something comes out every time you dive.
Although the number of people diving is small due to poor access, it is definitely Australia's number one diving site, and it is a diving site that is comparable to the world.