After a two year process the Queensland Government and the Wide Bay region won the battle to secure the ex-HMAS Tobruk to become a dive site off the Fraser coast. Just over a week after the announcement was made, on Wednesday 14th December, the harbour tugs King Bay and Hervey Bay assisted the ex-HMAS Tobruk (L50) into the Port of Bundaberg and alongside the oil berth facility. With the ex-HMAS Tobruk being a dead ship this movement took some 5 hours from the Bundaberg pilot boarding ground to all secure alongside at 1700 hrs and was completed without incident.
Ex-HMAS Tobruk’s arrival had gathered much interest being watched by Federal, State & Local politicians, 2000 people on shore and the media. Planning this dead ship movement into the Port with so much attention saw collaboration between Pacific Tug, Polaris Marine, the Gladstone Regional Harbour Master, Gladstone Marine Pilots, Port of Bundaberg, the Australian Navy and the vessels new owners the Qld Government Department of National Parks, Sport and Racing (NPSR).
Ex-HMAS Tobruk is here in Bundaberg to be prepared for scuttling as a dive site in 30 metres of water some 24nm from Bundaberg x 17nm from Hervey Bay. The preparation for scuttling is expected to take 18 months to 2 years.
The Ex-HMAS Tobruk was built at Carrington Slipways in Newcastle and commissioned in 1981. At 127mtrs x 18.3 metres with fully loaded displacement of 5800t, she served approx. 26 deployments around the world including the Middle East, Fiji, Solomon Islands, East Timor and the Philippines travelling some 947,000 nautical miles. She was decommissioned in July 2015.
In the short term, Pacific Tug has been awarded the ship keeping duties and will be perusing further involvement in this project when works come to tender.