Ex-HMAS Canberra Dive Permits
The ex-HMAS Canberra dive site is the first artificial reef specifically created for diving in Victoria. It lies in approximately 28 metres of water, with the top of the mast about 5 metres below the surface at low tide. The site provides opportunities for divers with varying levels of experience and certification, from open water level certificates to advanced wreck divers, to enjoy this site.
The vessel is located offshore from Ocean Grove within Bass Strait in Victoria. It is approximately 25 minutes by boat from Queenscliff Harbour (on the Bellarine Peninsula) or Portsea (on the Mornington Peninsula). Melway Maps 497 & 498. The dive site is clearly marked by two special mark buoys and four mooring buoys.
To book a permit you must first agree to the permit conditions below. Please read them carefully before proceeding.
“You” includes every person included under this booking
For the purposes of the conditions set out below, ‘you’ is defined as the person making the booking and any other persons undertaking a diving or snorkelling activity under that booking.
Recreational Diver and Snorkeller Conditions
These conditions relate to your safety, your permission to access the site by diving or snorkelling, as well as permission for your vessel to moor at the public mooring at the site.
1. The site is protected under the Crown Land (Reserves) Act 1978 and Marine Act 1988. You acknowledge that all rules and regulations pertaining to these Acts apply at the site and its surroundings. You are responsible for being familiar with the requirements of these rules and regulations.
2. Please report any risk/dangers/hazards you identify to Parks Victoria as soon as is practicable. Call us on 13 19 63.
3. An Authority to dive/snorkel the site is not valid until Parks Victoria has received your payment of the applicable fee.
Conditions relating to who can dive or snorkel at this site
4. You must have a valid Authority to Dive or Authority to Snorkel to dive or snorkel the Ex-HMAS Canberra prior to attending the site. Diving or snorkelling without an Authority is not permitted. This booking (once completed) provides your Authority.
5. You must comply with Australian Standard AS4005.1 as a minimum level of certification. You acknowledge that the site is not suitable for inexperienced divers unless accompanied by a qualified guide.
6. Ultimately, it is your responsibility to be satisfied that you are appropriately trained, certified and experienced in Victorian conditions to undertake the planned dive.
Conditions relating to what you must do when diving or snorkelling
7. You must not disturb marine life. In particular, you must not fish, net, spear, take or kill marine life within the site or anywhere within 100 metres of the dive site.
8. The Ex-HMAS Canberra Reserve is a 'no take zone'. You must not remove any artefacts from the reserve. Equally, you must not deface, damage, interfere or remove any material from the Ex-HMAS Canberra.
9. You must be confident that you understand how to keep yourself safe and that you are aware of all foreseeable hazards and conditions that you may encounter during the permitted activity. Typical hazards and conditions may include dangerous and/or aggressive marine life, extreme weather conditions, high winds, strong currents, turbulent seas and low visibility. There could also be any other naturally occurring or man-made hazard at the site.
10. Your dive or snorkel leader must fly an “International Code A Flag” as defined in the Victorian Recreational Boating Safety Handbook (Marine Safety Victoria February 2007) while you are undertaking diving or snorkelling activities.
11. You must ensure that at least one person remains on board as a lookout at all times whilst you are in the water.
12. You must maintain a complete logbook of all divers/snorkelers on each vessel. You must, if requested, provide a copy to Parks Victoria. The log book needs to record the names of the people from your vessel and the times at which they are in the water.
13. You must ensure that a minimum of 2 divers/snorkellers undertake the activity at the site at any one time and adhere to the Buddy system for the duration of the activity.
14. You can only dive or snorkel during the time slot you’ve booked. Time slots between 4am and 10pm can be for a maximum of 2 hours. However, if you wish to have a long, nocturnal dive between 10pm and 4am, you can book that entire 6 hour period.
Conditions relating to your vessel and mooring
15. You may only access the dive/snorkel site from a boat with an Authority to be on the public mooring. Mooring without an Authority is not permitted. This booking (once completed) provides your Authority to moor on the public mooring.
16. There’s only one public mooring, identified as Mooring Number 4. Use this mooring only. Don’t use any of the moorings reserved for commercial tour operators.
17. You must not moor the vessel at the public mooring if it weighs or displaces more than 15 tonnes.
18. Only one vessel is permitted to use a mooring at any one time. Don’t raft up to a vessel already on the mooring.
19. Don’t take vessels into the No Boating Zone located within the mooring buoys and navigation marks.
20. If you cause any damage to the mooring by mooring inappropriately or otherwise in breach of these conditions, Parks Victoria may repair the mooring at your expense. If this occurs, you will be notified and asked to pay the costs of repair as a debt due to Parks Victoria.
21. You must ensure that the vessel used in the conduct of the permitted activity does not anchor within 100 metres of the dive site.
22. You must ensure that the vessel used in the conduct of the permitted activity observes a speed limit of 5 knots within 50 metres of the moorings and navigation marks.
23. You must not undertake boat based camping in Ex-HMAS Canberra Reserve.
24. You must not erect advertising signage on a mooring.
25. You are not to tie, clip, anchor or in any other way secure the vessel to the dive wreck.
26. You must have a first aid kit on board your vessel.
Your risk and your liability
27. You acknowledge that your visit to the dive site is entirely at your own risk.
28. If you are injured, your property is damaged or if anything else happens which leads to you having a claim against Parks Victoria or the State of Victoria arising from or in connection with your use of the dive site, you promise that you will not sue Parks Victoria. By accepting these conditions, you release Parks Victoria and the State of Victoria from any liability they might have towards you. You provide this release on the basis that you cannot revoke it in the future.
29. If you cause injury to any person, damage any person’s property or if you do anything else which leads to Parks Victoria or the State of Victoria being sued by someone else or incurring any costs, losses or damages arising from or in connection with your use of the dive site, you promise to pay Parks Victoria or the State of Victoria the amount of any such cost, loss or damages. However, if this happens, your liability will be reduced to the extent (if any) that Parks Victoria and the State of Victoria contributed to the costs, loss or damages by their own negligence (if any).
Your acknowledgement to Parks Victoria
30. You must read and understand the following statement before proceeding. By proceeding, you make the following statement to Parks Victoria. Don’t proceed if you don’t believe or understand the statement.
I acknowledge that I have assessed the risks inherent in undertaking diving, snorkelling and associated boat travel, and I understand the hazards of scuba diving and snorkelling including those hazards occurring during boat travel to and from the dive/snorkel site. I understand that these hazards include, but are not limited to air expansion injuries, drowning, decompression, sickness, injuries occurring while getting on or off the vessel and while on board, being cut or struck by a boat while in the water, and other perils of the sea including the risk of being dragged away or thrown against objects by strong currents. I also acknowledge the risk of any other unpredictable natural conditions or man-made hazards. I knowingly and voluntarily agree to accept these risks. I will not dive/snorkel beyond my level of training / qualification, experience and equipment.