Howies Scuba

Scuba Diving Perth WA

Shore Diving

The Coombe Reserve:

Swan River.

Mosman Park.


  • Shore Dive: River Dive: Wreck Dive.

  • Depth: Shallow Wrecks 9 - 12 meters: Deep Wrecks 19 - 22 meters.
  • No# of dives at site: Shallow Wrecks 3: Deep Wrecks 1.
  • Dive Conditions: The river is generally an all weather dive area, unfortunately it can however become very silty, and after heavy rain tannin will be washed in to the top half of the river affecting visibility. Consider the Shallow Wrecks for the novice diver,  Deep Wrecks require Advanced Open Water or equivalent. Working/active river, strong currents toward center of river. Visibility is effected on both sites. 

  • Dive flag at Site: No.


  • I have to say the Coombe Reserve is a little bit difficult to get to, as it is bang smack in the middle of a rather beautiful and picturesque suburban area near Fremantle, with some twisting roads in parts.

  • I strongly suggest you have a map book, sat-nav or an app for your phone and type in "The Coombe Reserve Mosman Park", it should get you here, it is about 10 minutes from Fremantle.

  • There is space for parking but not a lot, maybe ten cars, but there is a nice grassy area to kit up on on the left.

  • For the shallow wrecks if you have a problem with your gear its not so bad as they are right in front of the kit up area, however you don't have this luxury afforded to you with the deep wrecks, so make you check all your gear before leaving this area.

Dive Review & Maps Shallow Wrecks

CAUTION: The river is a working and recreational river, take care during any water activity and use a dive flag, ascend close to the shore and listen for passing boat traffic, be also aware of other non-powered river users such as kayakers, rowers, boarders. There is also a water-ski area close by, boats may pass with trailing skiers.

Shallow Wrecks

  • There is not a lot that can be said about this site really, like all the river dives you find it quite silty, the first few meters of water can be laced with and orange/brown tannin which runs into the water after it has been raining. Both will effect the vis, one at the surface and one on the floor, so when you descend don't panic if it is a bit murky in the tannin water it should clear up quite a bit after a few meters. And again try and keep 1 meter off the floor so as not to disturb the silt because even the gentlest of kicks can do this.

  • The marine life is generally quite sparse around the river, there is a lot of encrusting life or sessile life, some Sea Horses, small schools of Gobbleguts, maybe some Stripeys, Sea Stars are quite common and so are some very large Anemones.
  • This site is a nice easy walk in the park dive site. Not far to walk to the water, not far to swim to the descend point and, once you have descended you are pretty much on top of the shallow wrecks.

  • The easiest way is actually cut across to buoy 221 (see below) from the car park corner, rather than clamber over some small rocks off the front of the grassed area.

  • Anyway descend buoy 221 and as long as you don't stare up the very silty bottom you should see a thin guide rope heading roughly north/south.

  • The deeper and less abundant wreck out of these is on an approx. heading on 355 degrees and the shallow and more formed wreck is on an approx. heading of 145 degrees which, unfortunately you can't make out on these pictures I have provided so make sure you jot them down.
  • The wrecks are timber if memory serves me correctly both approx 5 - 7 meters long and mainly decayed. The deeper wreck appears more sunken than the shallower wreck, sitting deeper in the silt, but not by much. The shallow wreck shows more form and is surrounded by additionally beams and barrels, plus a small tinny or dinghy boat.

  • Once you have had a look at the two small wrecks you can if you wish go and explore The Coombe Reserve and see if you can find more wrecks. There are a few tinny/row size boats submerged these run from a small line heading to it from the shallow wreck here.
  • Talking of lines, this site and the deep wreck area are used for tech training and lots of little lines are run around these sites, more than likely running north/south towards the deeper wrecks a little further north from this site (see below).

  • Also there are other lines going off in different directions so please do not presume that all lines you come across run a particular way, make sure you maintain your compass heading and use your compass skills.

  • On the picture above you can see a heading of 150m @ 105 degrees, apparently on this heading is a small white buoy and if you descend around here there is another small dinghy size wreck, not that I dived it but was informed at the end of the days dive when the group were getting out. And maybe one of the lines will run to this, as when we followed one line it appeared to continue in that direction before we decided to ascend. 
Conclusion: Shallow Wrecks
  • I am not going to really knock any of the river dives, however I am also not a huge fan. They are back up sites for when you have exhausted all the other sheltered sites the ocean has to offer locally, or you just fancy a change, and that's about it (unless you prawn).

  • The shallow wrecks are nothing massive or particularly interesting, just some wooden boats that have sank near the shore.

  • In simple terms if you need to get wet, it will do.

Video Shallow Wrecks

 Dive Review & Maps Deep Wrecks


In January 2015 a couple of dive buddies attempted to dive this site based on the information provided below, they graciously informed that the buoy numbers had been changed. Obviously the wrecks are not going anywhere, so therefore the maps still have some validity but are not correct currently and wont be corrected until I get out there and that could be in 2 months or 2 years as this is not one of my regular spots.

Next point just in case my good buddies are just bloody awful at following instructions and lets say the maps are still good. On my last dive I was informed that the buoy NE of buoy 352 was actually almost on top of the wreck.

Final point I have heard that some cave divers practicing lines have indeed placed white marker tubes, spaced at about 5 meter intervals from the shore to the wreck. I have seen these markers on my last dive but never followed them to confirm or dismiss this information. However my job is to provide this information, its your responsibility whether you use it or not.

CAUTION: The river is a working and recreational river, take care during any water activity and use a dive flag, ascend close to the shore and listen for passing boat traffic, be also aware of other non-powered river users such as kayakers, rowers, boarders. There is also a water-ski area close by, boats may pass with trailing skiers.

Deep Wrecks

  • NOTE: I have only dived one of the wrecks at this site.

  • NOTE: This site requires Advanced Open Water course or equivalent.
  • Ok, its on this site you earn your money. You have two options and one of these can be limited depending on tide.

  • Simply put you can swim 250 meters to buoy 352 or you can walk the shoreline until you see buoy 107 then swim out to buoy 352.

  • On the day I dived it we had to swim it because the shoreline was submerged, and I have to say it was a pain in the backside, there was a slight current and I had my split fins on, slow going for sure.

  • Ok however you make your way to buoy 352 don't forget to take a dive flag. Remember these buoys are the property of others so if you tie off on a buoy please respect the owners property.
  • If you know me or you have read any of my other pages you know I love repeating myself, so here goes again "I have only dived one of these wrecks"  which was the wreck on the right of these two.

  • These sites are deep for the local recreational divers, up to 22 meters. The deepest ocean dive from the shore is the RWT @ 18 meters.

  • However unlike other sites this one, certainly on the day we dived it was black as night and the water was thick as tar.

  • We dived here not long after the completion of the Fremantle Port dredging which impacted vis on all the river sites. I have been told though that regardless this is a dark and gloomy site and a torch is definitely required, I wouldn't argue with that.
  • I am not going to get too bogged down in the details of this dive, simply because it wasn't much of a dive in all honesty. We descended took a bearing and by luck we found the wreck.

  • And I mean luck, the directions I was given for this wreck as above are spot on, however in a slight current we got moved around a little bit in the water, which affected our heading. I only noticed in the gloom a white plastic lawn chair and stopped to have a look. As I was looking I noticed I was about 0.5 meter away from the wreck, if I hadn't noticed the chair then the chances are I would have swam right passed it.

  • Due to the darkness and siltiness of the water, we really struggled to make the wreck out, and very quickly became frustrated by this experience. So after about 10 - 15 minutes we ascended and made our way back to shore, dive over.


  • Simply put.... I need to dive this site again, and if it was similar to this experience then I wouldn't rush back. Too much like hard work for something that currently doesn't feel like its worth it.

  • I know I will do it again because I never got to the second wreck...... just don't know when.
Video Deep Wrecks
  • NOTE: This video is not attended to show off the wreck but the darkness of the environment that you may have to dive in.



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