Salvage of the Iconic Underwater Observatory at Green Island

The 1954 Green Island Underwater Observatory is Salvaged

The experienced commercial dive division of North Marine successfully executed the salvage and removal of the submerged structure, located at Green Island out of Cairns.

A Key Piece of Queensland Tourism History

It is with a sad heart and happy memories that North Marine undertook the massive task of deconstructing and salvaging the iconic 1954 Underwater Observatory at Green Island.

About the Green Island Underwater Observatory

The underwater observatory at Green Island was the brainchild of Vince Vlassoff, a 37-year-old Australian born Engineer, and Lloyd Grigg after they met on a crocodile safari cruise operated by Vlassoff.

Before snorkelling or scuba diving had become mainstream activities, this pioneering piece of architecture truly was a revolution in reef tourism, which up until this point had largely been occasional ferry trips taking people to offshore islands for a day trip. Never before had the general visitor had access to freely view the Great Barrier Reef beneath the surface.

The entrepreneurial pair imagined an underwater theatre, unlike anything ever constructed of its kind before. They envisioned a place where the public could venture beneath the waves to a chamber of windows, whereby they could witness the marvellous fish, coral and aquatic life to be seen.

Construction of the chamber began in 1951 and took twelve months from planning to final submersion – an incredible time frame considering the challenge of the task and all the unknown factors.

For nearly 60 years the underwater observatory delighted visitors and provided a means of viewing the incredible underwater world.


Visit these pages for more information on North Marine services
Back to List