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Diving in Southern Ocean

If you intend to go diving, snorkelling or boating in the Southern Ocean on Victoria's west coast you must be appropriately trained and qualified. Always analyse the weather forecasts and make your own mind up about what you consider to be safe conditions.

Note: The Victorian coastline to the west of Cape Otway faces into the Southern Ocean.

Southern Ocean Warning

We recommend you don't go diving in the Southern Ocean if any of the following conditions are likely to occur within a 24 hour period:

  • A Strong Wind Warning (or above - Gale, Storm, Hurricane) has been issued by the Bureau of Meteorology for West Victoria Coastal Waters;
  • Wind strength exceeding 20 kn (37 kpm) from the direction: NW, NNW, N, W, NE, NNE;
  • Wind strength exceeding 15 kn (28 kpm) from the direction: SW, SSW, S;
  • Wind strength exceeding 10 kn (19 kpm) from the direction: SE, SSE, E;
  • Swell Height exceeding 2 metres (6.56 feet);
  • Any swell exceeding 1 metre (3.28 feet) with a period less than 5 seconds;
  • A weather change is due which may cause any of the above conditions to occur.

For the lastest forecast from the Bureau of Meteorology, see West Victoria Coastal Waters Forecast: SA-Vic Border to Cape Otway.

At some shore dive sites on the Victorian coast even the above conditions could be too extreme. Weak or average swimmers should not consider diving at most Southern Ocean shore dive sites. Keep a watch out for swells and bad weather coming in. At some shore dive sites this may require surfacing periodically throughout your dive. When doing a shore dive in the Southern Ocean you are diving on the Great Southern Reef.

Scuba diving is an inherently dangerous activity and appropriate training and experience in scuba equipment, decompression diving, deep diving, mixed gas diving and wreck penetration diving are all mandatory skills for safely diving the shipwrecks of the Southern Ocean.

Stay Safe

If you are not experienced with diving in the Southern Ocean, make sure you go with an experienced local dive guide or dive buddy who can read the conditions and advise you accordingly. Most of all, stay safe and enjoy your Southern Ocean diving.

We accept no responsibility or liability for the accidental or intentional misuse of information portrayed on this website, or misadventure resulting from its use.

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