J4 Submarine

diver photographing
the conning tower

Scratcher's plaque


barber perch
around the tower

The J4 (also called 90 foot, 26m, shallow and scratcher's sub) is one of 6 J-class subs given to Australia by the British government at the end of WW1in 1919. They were in very poor condition and need extensive refitting.
Stationed in Geelong the subs only carried out one exercise before J1, J2, J3, J4 and J5 were decommissioned due to budget cuts.
J3 was used as a power plant for the Swan Island base Queenscliff, and can still be seen half submerged just off the beach. J7 is now part of the Sandringham marina. J1, J2, J4 and J5 were scuttled in the ships graveyard outside the heads of Port Phillip Bay sometime after 1924. J6 did not come to Australia.

The 275ft long J4 lies in 26m about 5km SW of the heads with the bow facing south. It is not a tide dependent site however large swell can make this an uncomfortable dive at times. The bow is broken off leaving a 2m gap from which divers can see the front torpedo tubes and penetrate the main body. It is a common site for advanced open water deep training.

The Marine Archaeology Association of Victoria has an excellent J-class sub website.