· Constructed 1919 at Cockatoo Island, Sydney, prefabricated in Carlisle, United Kingdom.
· Crane barge, steel construction, no independent engines.
· Length 16.42 meters, width 7.4 meters, draft 2.31 meters.
· Scuttled after capsizing 30 November 1991 off Smoky Cape, on a voyage from Sydney to Singapore.
Assembled in Sydney Harbour in 1919, the Titan was a 58m-high electrical revolving floating crane, capable of lifting 150 tons. The crane projected from vertical rollers and a revolving base. The whole edifice rested upon a barge constructed of two giant interlinked pontoons.
During transit from Sydney to Singapore, the weight of the crane caused the Titan to capsize in a storm. The crane itself slipped off its mount and was lost in the depths. The barge was scuttled and now rests upside down on an include supported by the rollers and base mechanism.
The upside down deck has bollards, hatch covers, railings and other marine features. Wobbygong sharks and jewfish hide in the shelter beneath the deck.
There are few access points for penetration, which should only be attempted by experienced technical divers.
The Titan can be subject to currents, and surge on the mooring line. Visibility ranges from 7 meters to 25 meters. Water temperature ranges from 17 to 24 degrees.
The Titan’s components were built in England shipped to Sydney Harbour for assembly in 1919. It worked until 1994 in the construction and refitting of vessels at the dockyard at Cockatoo Island and in the construction of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
The Titan was 58m high and able to lift 150 tonnes. In its history, the Titan also assisted in the construction of the Iron Cove Bridge, Split Bridge and Gladsville Bridges, including in 1985 the recovery of two Japanese Midget submarines sunk in Sydney Harbour in WWII. The Titan was last actively used for work in Australia in 1989.
In 1990 the Titan was classified as a heritage item by the National Trust but the decision was taken to sell the Titan to a Singapore company. Part of the conditions for export was that the Titan be returned to Sydney by July 1995.
Despite concerns that a top-heavy object such as the Titan was not capable of being moved internationally, nevertheless, on 22 or 23 December 1992 the Titan left Sydney Harbour under tow bound for Singapore.
At 10:50pm on 24 December 1992, while passing South West Rocks in 26 knot winds with 2m seas, the Titan capsized. The barge remained afloat, but with the crane now underwater the Titan was towed south and into shallower waters.
When commercial divers discovered that the crane itself had slipped free somewhere during the night, it was decided the Titan would be scuttled. The Titan was sunk off North Haven at 9pm on 27 December 1992.
Australian Government - Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities; "Australian National Shipwreck Database", available at <https://apps5a.ris.environment.gov.au/shipwreck/public/initiate-mch-search.do?mchTypeCode=MCT_SHWR>.
Inspector of Marine Accidents, Marine Incident Investigation unit, Department of Transport and Communications, Report published 18 October 1993 “Departmental investigation into the capsize of the crane barge TITAN off Smoky Cape, on 25 December 1992 and the subsequent sinking of the barge off Camden Head, on 29 December 1992”.