The William Salthouse was the first merchant vessel to sail with a cargo of merchandise from the British Dominion of Canada to British Colonies of Australia. The ship was lost on 28 November 1841 while attempting to enter Port Phillip Heads.

In 1982 diving friends of Andrew Crosby, Peter Kennedy and Dennis Bolton, found the wreck in the sands behind Pope's Eye. Shortly afterwards the wreck was inspected by the Victorian Historic Shipwreck Unit, and declared an historic shipwreck. It quickly became a popular dive site. In February 1983 a protective zone was put in place around the wreck as a way to stop the damage being caused by divers.

I was lucky to have been able to dive on the site several times, with and without divers from the Historic Shipwreck Unit, before the protective zone was created. The photos below show the damage to barrels, and also the lead piping used in the ship's bilge pumps.

You can find out more about the William Salthouse at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Salthouse_(ship) and at http://vhd.heritage.vic.gov.au/vhd/heritagevic#detail_ships;725

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