You have reached the official site of the Red October Group, formed in September 1999 to bring together scuba divers with a common interest in exploring the Victorian Ships' Graveyard in the treacherous waters of Bass Strait.
Separating Tasmania from mainland Australia, Bass Strait (375 miles/600 km long by 185 miles/300 km wide) is notorious for its 'boisterous weather'. Shallow, and exposed to the fury of the southern trade winds its waves are steep and the currents unpredictable. Similar to the North-West Passage in the Northern Hemisphere, Bass Strait was of enormous interest to the British in the late 1700s looking for a quicker route to their colonies. When it was finally proved to exist it caused an international stir. The discovery also began a maritime carnage few places in the world have seen. Over the 1800s, around 1500 ships came to grief making their way between the 'eye of the needle' (the gap between King Island and Cape Otway) in the west, or the across the 'edge of the shelf' (the continental shelf where the Strait meets the Tasman Ocean) at the eastern end.
Many of these shipwrecks have never been explored, their final resting place unknown. The average depth of water in Bass Strait reaches 90 metres. Only in recent years has technology become available to allow recreational divers to safely explore these depths and visit wrecks that have remained silent and untouched on the ocean floor for well over 100 years ... until now.
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