The Gothenburg was bound from Port Darwin to Melbourne via Newcastle with 128 passengers, mail and general cargo. On 23 February 1875 during a storm and high seas, the Gothenburg ran aground on the southern edge of a detached reef, off the entrance to Flinders Channel, near Townsville. The ship's four lifeboats were lowered; however the first two accidentally came adrift and were swept away before passengers could board. A third boat with women and children capsized when others panicked and tried to board. By morning only the masts of the steamer could be seen above the water. Twenty-two passengers were rescued but 106 lives were lost including all 25 women and children and all the officers on board.
Shipwreck features include: boilers, deck beams, engines, iron tanks and a winch. The wreck is a habitat for a variety of marine life. A dive guide for the Gothenburg can be downloaded from the Queensland Government website.
The Gothenburg is in a protected zone and requires a free permit to dive. The protected zone helps to protect the shipwreck, and its associated relics, from interference and damage. Apply for a permit online at the website listed.