The Coogee was a steel screw steamer built in the UK and launched in 1887 as the Lancanshire Witch. Her length overall was 225 ft her beam 30 ft and her draught 14 ft giving her a displacement of 762 tons.
She was owned by the Huddart parker company and was originally used on the Melbourne to Geelong run carrying cargo but was later converted to a passenger vessel and employed on the Melbourne to Launceston run. She also traded around the Australian coast for many years and was involved in quite a few incidents; the most famous was her collision with the Barque Fortunato Figari on Christmas day 1903 of Cape Shank.
The steel bowsprit of the barque swept the deck of the steamer killing the Captain and the lookout. In the confusion and thinking the steamer was about to sink the Coogee’s officers and crew climbed aboard the barque. A steward and a passenger took command and after some semblance of order was restored a line was made fast to the barque who took the steamer in tow. It was soon found, however, the Coogee could still get up steam and she eventually made it to Melbourne under her own power.
Other incidents included, 1889 collision with vessel Excelsior in Port Phillip bay, 1889 Collision with vessel Griper in Yarra River, 1891 collision with pilot vessel in Yarra river, 1914 collision with steamer Bombala in Yarra River.
In 1918 she was employed as a minesweeper in the Bass Strait.
She was eventually dismantled and scuttled off Port Phillip Heads in 1928. The vessel now lies north south in 34m of water with her bow facing north, the top of the wreck is about 26m with the bow and stern sections quite intact but the midsection with the exception of the boilers is quite broken up.
Certification required: Advanced 30m