"They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; these see the works of the Lord, and His wonders in the deep...He raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves...they reel to and fro and stagger like drunken sailors!" (psalm 107)

Fate of the Royal Australian Navy Tons!





What became of the Royal Australian Navy's Six Ton Class Minesweepers?




HMAS Gull, M1185, was the first to be Payed Off in 1969


Swanston Gull, M1185 - was built as HMS Swanston by J. S. Doig's slipway at Grimsby and launched on 10th. September 1954 - paid off due to increasing maintenance costs (aluminium corrosion was a major problem with all the tons, particularly in the keel, hog and bilges) and was placed in reserve on 5th. May 1967 until 16th. Feb. 1968, finally decommissioning on 20th. Jan. 1969, after being largly gutted to maintain Curlew, Snipe and Ibis.

Disposal

Gull was sold on 17th. June 1976, to a firm named Troubleshooters Pty. Ltd. of East Sydney. The firm's name has also been given as Trouble Shooter Marine Services Pty Ltd., with a Potts Point, Sydney address, and the ship was said to have been painted yellow and renamed either Troubleshooter or Troubleshooters. (Info from Dept. of Defence Disposals) The vessel had been purchased by a company named "Trouble Shooter", run by a Dutchman called Jensen. He (Jensen) had also purchased the old Manly Ferry Bellubera so certain equipment (engines) could be stripped from her and installed into an ex-RAN minesweeper, the former HMAS Gull.
The Gull (renamed "Trouble Shooter", with its hull painted bright yellow) was to become a rescue vessel of some sort, but at the time was a hull in the water with no engines. Bellubera's English Electric diesels were removed and provided to the Public Transport Commission to help keep the ferries North Head and Baragoola in service. In exchange, "Trouble Shooter" was given a pair of engines (presumably by the PTC) for installation into the ex-minesweeper. During 1980 it lay in Cockle Bay next to Bellubera, and across the bay from the South Steyne which was at that time also in a neglected state. Bellubera was sunk at Long Reef as part of a diving site in August, 1980.

Seized

September, 1982 - Trouble Shooter - Seized for unpaid berthing fees, the ex-RAN Ton Class Minesweeper, HMAS Gull is towed away from Darling Harbour, by the MSB tugs Bareki and Booroowang to Homebush Bay.
Awaiting disposal by the MSB. "Troubleshooter" was sold shortly after by the MSB in 1983 for breaking up at Homebush Bay, Sydney. 1987 - an ex RAN Motor Water Lighter (MWL254) with the bridge superstructure of HMAS Gull in the well deck. Both ships were being broken up in the mangroves at Homebush Bay, Sydney. (Photos Graeme Andrews Collection)



HMAS Hawk, M1139, was the next to Pay Off in 1972


Hawk, M1139, was built as HMS Somerleyton by Richards Iron Works, Lowestoft in Suffolk, launched on 1st. July 1954 by Lady Somerleyton, commissioned on 17th. September 1955 and immediately mothballed at Hythe. After service in the RAN she paid off into the reserve fleet due to lack of crews: 5th. May 1967 to 16th. Feb. 1968, 7th. Nov. 1969 to 18th. Sept 1970, finally decommissioning on 7th. Jan. 1972. hms somerleyton launch
After decommissioning HMAS Hawk was sold by tender to a salvage company owned by Mr Charles Mohun, an American by birth. Charles and his business partner undertook breaking up the ship at Harwood near MacLean, New South Wales in 1987.(Photo - Being broken down on the Ballina Slipways wharf). Beautiful Teak and Mahogany timber salvaged from Hawk was used to build a beach house at Byron Bay, northern NSW, overlooking Wategos Beach, just down from the Cape Byron Lighthouse - the most easterly lighthouse in Australia.
Recently renovated Hawk House at 5 Pandanus Court, Byron Bay. Named after the once ocean going warship - HMAS Hawk, the home is principally built from the recycled timber of the ship. Open plan living areas spread over two levels with a nautical theme. Little reminders of the ship can be found such as porthole windows and planks that are now floors and benches. "HMAS Hawk" - holiday house, this newly renovated ultra modern character filled beach home is perfectly positioned to take full advantage of everything that Wategos Beach has to offer. Extensive timber decks, deluxe BBQ and outdoor dining setting, Media room with large-screen TV with Pay TV and stereo system. 2 x Queens sized bedrooms + 1 room with 4 single beds. Linen supplied, Fully equipped gourmet kitchen with quality appliances, 3 x bathrooms. Open planned Living area, All laundry facilities. The property boasts a perfect mix of character filled Byron Bay charm with classy modern facilities. It has amazing outdoor areas including a huge covered deck overlooking the famous Wategos Beach which doubles as a second living area for the balmy sub tropical nights. There are mementos from the Australian warship Hawk. Rated 5 star.
Rates from $570.
Check out the laid teak decks - break out the "holly stones" - wonder where they put the "golden rivet"?

But Hawk lives on!


Santa Maria Star fitted with the bridge of HMAS Hawk. The bridge of HMAS Hawk on the working trawler Santa Maria Star alongside at Mooloolaba, Queensland.
HMAS Hawk was sold for disposal and removal - sold on 17th. June 1976 to Traders Investments Pty Ltd of Wheeler Heights, Sydney, NSW. On 19th. April 1977, Hawk was removed from Athol Bay dolphins by the commercial trawler Iron Hector I, on behalf of the purchaser, for towage to Brisbane. (Info Dept. Defence Disposals) Hawk was towed from Sydney to Ballina, on the Richmond River, Northern New South Wales. The ship was later in Coffs Harbour where the bridge was taken off by Mr Ralph Hough, before the ship was broken up at Harwood, on Chatsworth Island, in the Clarence River. After decommissioning HMAS Hawk was sold by tender to a salvage company owned by Mr Charles Mohun, an American by birth. Charles and his business partner undertook breaking up the ship at MacLean, New South Wales in 1987. A piece of mahogany from Hawk was presented at a special ceremony to the village of Somerleyton in Suffolk in July 2001 attended by, among others, Lord and Lady Somerleyton.(Lady Bridget Somerleyton christened and launched M1139 on 1st. July 1954.)

Mike remembers: "When I originally saw Hawk, she was tied up at Ballina in the Richmond River. She had been seized and arrested for unpayed debts and someone had pinched the ships emergency steering wheel from the locked tiller flat. Mr. Bob Franks was a local fish buyer who was considering buying the ship to make her into a trawler. We had been to the Gold Coast that day to look at a couple of Paxman engines (Paxman 12YHAXM diesels) that had been taken out of an inshore minesweeper owned by Keith Williams from Seaworld. (Williams, millionare developer and environmental vandal, had bought two Ham Class Minesweepers from the RAN to convert them to luxury yachts.) Franks was going to buy the engines to replace the Napier Deltics, but I can't remember whether the Deltics were still installed or not. He did not go ahead with the purchase and the next time I saw Hawk she was on the slip at Harwood on the Clarence River.

She was towed down from Ballina but I don't know who owned her. Ballina Slipways owned the slip at Harwood then and it was here that she was broken down. The wheelhouse and the bridge superstructure was taken off at "Coffs"" and the bridge fitted to a 1963 built trawler called the Santa Maria Star owned by Mr Ralph Hough of Yamba. Hough renamed the trawler Juanita and later sold it to Max Alford, who took it to Queensland fishing. Max changed the name back to Santa Maria Star (FYCT), and he says it has been a pleasure boat now for a few years and was located in Cairns. It was apparently for sale last year (2010). I have lived in the Clarence for 35 years - I was actually on the slip with a trawler I had when they were breaking Hawk down. There was a lot of skulduggery about the ballast and aluminium. It is possible that Mr.Dennis Geary salvaged one of the propellor shafts for his vessel."

Max remembers: "I registered the Santa Maria Star as British (Official number 317463) as it was before there was an official Australian registry for ships - it was part of the deal with the development bank at the time. The port registration number (1965/052) would be Yamba as that was her registered port. The registration numbers were already carved into a deck beam in the forecastle and at the time I thought it might have been registered previous to this. Sir Tory Puglesi had the boat built at Carrington Slipway, Newcastle (built 1963) and was the owner of the boat till Ralph Hough purchased it and converted her to trawl. Being a bit short of money while converting her over he needed a bigger wheel house and they were wrecking the Hawk at the time and he got the wheelhouse complete with glass for not much more money than scrap price at the time."

Max Alford sold the Santa Maria Star to Mr. Peter Picton of Yamba, who later sold her to a buyer in Cairns.

Marg and Carolyn from MacLean Historical Society remember: "Hawk was moored on the public wharf at the Harwood Sugar Mill and after some superstructure and timber recovery, the "Hawk" was abandoned for a long time. Residents requested the then MacLean Shire Council to take action to have the hulk removed, but with none forthcoming, local residents then took timber from the "Hawk" - timbers were used to build a beach house. Some timbers were used to make drop side tables and the kitchen for a store opposite the mill, others were made into the mill manager's new kitchen and his daughters bedroom furniture. Carolyn still has a 14 foot long beam her husband "salvaged" as a garden edge. After being partly stripped down at the mill, the bottom hulk was towed by trawlers a short distance downstream to Ballina Slipways for further salvage. The remainder of the Hawk was then pulled into a corner of the slipway yard and burnt. A sorry end to a once proud Australian Navy Warship!
Salvaged plank from Hawk Still with some good old Pusser's Ship Side Grey
Having been shedded for many years, another piece of a different plank salvaged from Hawk - Both "French" and "Ship's Side" grey remaining. A sawn plank with about 5mm thickness of paint and the fixing holes - the fixing was passed from the outside, through the plank and the frame then secured. The enlarged part of the external hole was plugged with a wooded dowl soaked in pitch then cut off level.



In 1973, HMAS Teal, M1152, was De-Commissioned into Reserve


Teal, M1152, built by Philip & Co. at Dartmouth, as HMS Jackton, was preserved at Agamemon Shipyard from 30th. June 1956 and placed in reserve in the Hythe Fleet. Commissioned into the RAN in 1962, decommissioned because of crew constraints and maintenance costs several times into reserve: 15th. Jan. 1968 to 23rd. Sept. 1968, 14th. Oct. 1968 to 7th. Nov. 1969, 14th. Aug. 1970 to 7th. Jan. 1972, finally being decommissioned into reserve on 31st. May 1973.


Teal as a trawler

Advertised for purchase and removal by Department of Administrative Services with a tender closing date of 29/9/1977, the ship was sold from reserve in October, 1977 to a company called I.B. & G.I. Baker, of Margate, Tasmania (Info Dept. of Defence Disposals) who took her to Hobart, to be converted to a trawler.

Link with Teal


A further link with a past MCM ship was established in March 1978, when HMAS Snipe and HMAS Curlew berthed close to the former minesweeper HMAS Teal in Hobart. At the time Teal was the last of the 16th. MCM Squadron ships to pay off from the RAN. The new owner, Mr I. Baker visited the two sister ships and spent a day at sea in Snipe. Mr Baker, who already has converted an ocean-going tug to deep-sea trawling, envisages spending $100,000 alone to re engine 'the old girl'. He also advised that he intends to keep the name 'Teal' alive, change as little of the hull outlook as possible, and retain the 'grey funnel line' look.

The conversion was done for A. & G.B. Pallis of the Gold Coast and C. & M. Minnis, of Hobart. Plans for the conversion were drawn by C. & T. Boat Plans of Brisbane. The Navigation and Survey Authority of Tasmania (NASAT - later Marine and Safety Tasmania - MaST) commenced a file in May 1979, when advised that an ex Royal Australian Navy Minesweeper was being converted in Hobart to a fishing trawler, which entailed re engineing with a pair of V12/149 series Detroit engines. (The Detroit Diesel 149 was a series of engines by Detroit Diesel which first came out in the early 1960s, configured as V8, V12, V16 and V20 for marine, transport and mining applications - series production ended around 2000.)



Teal delivered to the Gold Coast


Peter at the Gold Coast, Queensland, remembers - "Teal came in over the Southport Bar on the top of a king tide and, as I recall, made it as far as the end of Nerang St., without touching the bottom. She dropped anchor there and over time stopped swinging as the sand built up along her keel, and there she sat for at least a couple of years, maybe more. I (as QWPS) was on it a number of times, usually the result of a complaint from the owner of theft from the vessel. The owner was Alex Pallis, a Greek, who then lived at (I think) Admiralty Drive, Paradise Waters with his wife and daughter. Pallis took the ship north fishing for scallop and prawn."

Teal was issued the first Queensland Survey as a fishing vessel (No. 41) in September 1981, and operated in the Queensland East Coast and Gulf of Carpentaria fisheries. (Seen above anchored in the Southport Broadwater).

As a trawler Teal worked out of Karumba, Thursday Island, Cairns, Southport and the Tweed River (Tweed in 1982). (Photographed in Cairns during "the off prawn season" in refit - No. 2 berth is immediately upstream of the old RAN Patrol Boat Base in Cairns.)
Following necessary repairs at Harwood, Clarence River, NSW, Marine Board of Queensland (MBQ) advised NASAT on 16th. February 1984 that Teal underwent extensive repair to the stern end during the months Dec/Jan/Feb 1983/4 due to the need to eradicate Teredo worm. MBQ also advised that a permit had been issued for the vessels operation. The Yamba Harbourmaster's log records: "Teal entered Clarence 15/12/1983 departed 15/2/1984 to Hobart"

Sold at Auction


In January 1984, whilst undergoing repairs at Harwood, Teal was sold at auction in Sydney to M. Marriot & A.M. Marriot of Dover, John E. Buckpitt & Michael C. O'May of Port Huon, Tasmania who took her from Harwood in Northern NSW down to Port Huon and converted her to an abalone catcher and mother ship.

Ex - RAN ship will process abalone at sea

Hobart Mercury 20th. February 1984, page 3.

Three professional abalone divers from the Huon area have arrived in Hobart with their biggest catch yet, a $1,250,000.00 ex Royal Australian Navy minesweeper. The three men bought the 47metre vessel at auction at Sydney. They will spend about three weeks and $10,000.00 painting the vessel and converting her from a prawn trawler to an abalone catch and fish processing vessel. At full operation off the Tasmanian coast, the boat will have a crew of 16, including divers, processors and deckhands.

The size of the vessel enabled the construction of lunchrooms (what! - lunchrooms! on a ship? How about messes!?) and a large storage area satisfying health regulations for a processing plant. This cleared it for a Federal Department of Primary Industries export licence issued at its recommissioning as a prawn trawler to be renewed.

Mr. O'May said: "We will be taking all the trawling gear off and replacing it with two lifting booms for dinghies and other equipment for our purpose. We have already contracted a few other boats to supply abalone to be processed on board. When we reach our capacity of 60 tons the product will be off loaded directly into refrigerated containers for export." The three men and crew arrived in Hobart after a three day voyage from her anchorage in Northern NSW (article ends).

On 26th. September 1985, the owners requested a meeting with NASAT to discuss survey requirements for the charter of the Teal for the America's Cup Challenge and the carriage of a minimum of 300 daily passengers in Western Australia. The first part of the aft superstructure was added, with toilets and a holding tank being fitted although most was open deckhead shelter with fixed seating for the purpose of passenger carrying.

Charter Vessel in Western Australia


Teal was next heard of in Western Australia in 1986, the owner being given as Mr. O'May (although MBQ records show she was owned by M.G. Mason 1985 - 1987), working as a ferry/charter vessel and a "race chaser" from Fremantle for the America's Cup challenge with the three races sailed for an American victory, being held from October 1986 until February 1987. There may have been Tasmanian Government subsidy for the venture as "Tasmania. Top Spot" was painted on the starboard side and "Tasmania. Be Tempted" painted on the port side. The "Boxing Kangaroo" was painted on the bows.

"Teal - the vessel in question was previously in commercial survey in Western Australia as the "Teal", commencing March 1986 and becoming inactive on WA survey records in August 1987. The vessel was surveyed as a 1D passenger carrying vessel and a 3B fishing vessel (non passenger carrying), the 1D survey class restricted the vessel to partially smooth gazetted waters only. The vessel operated under class 1D as a charter passenger vessel with 305 unberthed passengers and 20 crew and not as a ferry; there is no record of it surveyed as a ferry.

As a matter of note the vessel came to WA under a reciprocal Certificate of Survey from Tasmania and any drawings/plans for the vessel would be with the initial state survey authority when it was first put into commercial use." (Info Commercial Vessel Safety Branch, Marine Safety Business Unit, Government, WA)

Sold to Mason Liesure Industries


Teal was sold to M.G. Mason (Mason Leisure Industries)
Teal was then photographed in the Brisbane River on 8th. July, 1987 with the aft superstructure and accommodation being completed just 3 days prior to her first voyage to Cairns and later at anchor in North Queensland where she was believed to have been working as a charter/tourist boat cum diving tender since late 1987.

From Marine Board Queensland - now Maritme Safety Queensland: In April 1987 the owners of MV Teal applied to MBQ for an upgraded class 1B requiring the superstructure to be enlarged to provide additional accommodation - they also requested NASAT to forward the ship's file to Queensland Harbour and Marine. In May 1987 MBQ was notification that the vessel had entered Queensland waters and was berthed at Riverside Coal Transport Wharf, Runaway Bay Marina, Southport.

She then went south and slipped at Harwood, on the Clarence River, NSW for refit where the remainder of the superstructure and accommodation was built with a view to upgrading the ship's survey from 1D to 1B. In July 1987 the MBQ issued a "Permit to Operate" the vessel in Queensland Coastal Waters (class 1B), to carry a maximum of 48 passengers and 12 crew. In October the same year a further "Permit to Operate" was issued (class 1B). The Yamba Harbourmaster's log records: "Teal entered Clarence 10/6/1987 Departed 18/6/87 to Brisbane."

The vessel began operations from Cairns to Cooktown, Lizard Island and various reefs, and in November operated 10 day cruises from Brisbane to Cairns. In March 1988 Teal was on permanent moorings at Hastings Reef, 32 nm. NE from Cairns.

The Great Outdoors - This Charter Dive Boat Has It All


Part of an article in the Courier Mail, Brisbane on Friday, 11th. August 1987 - Diving by John Wright.

On 26th. July MV Teal, a 46 metre converted Navy Minesweeper, set out on the first of what will be regular six day dive cruises around the Lizard Island, Cooktown, Crispen, Michaelmas and Ribbon Reefs areas. Comfort comes from the sheer size and seaworthiness of the vessel, with 50 passengers accommodated in 2 berth, 3 berth and 4 berth cabins.
The maiden cruise was booked out well in advance of the Teal's departure from Brisbane on 11th. July, after she had an extensive refit for the latest chapter in a varied career. Photographed alongside in Brisbane awaiting her maiden voyage as a charter cruising/diving boat, the "Boxing Kangaroo" from her days as a race chaser for the America's Cup in Western Australia is still visible painted on the bow (article ends).

A novel "Floating Hotel" established off Cairns

Cairns Post, Monday 7th March 1988 - page 27. By Staff Reporter Sheree Scott.

On the Great Barrier Reef off Cairns is a new attraction that has all the appeal of a tropical cruise, without going anywhere. A Brisbane cruise ship, the MV Teal, recently gave up the cruising business and has taken residence on Hastings Reef, 25 nautical miles northeast of Cairns, to offer its services as a "floating hotel". Down Under Dive utilises the facilities of Teal to conduct a dive school, day, night and early morning dives on the surrounding reef. The general manager of Teal Mr Bob Hillier, said the ship would move to nearby Norman and Saxon reefs every few weeks to protect the areas from overuse. The Teal has a fully stocked bar and comfortable saloon area to relax with a cool drink and consider the days activities. The 46 metre vessel can sleep up to 50 guests in a range of comfortable two, three or four berth cabins and caters for up to 30 day visitors.

The Teal has a colourful history, originally being a Royal Navy and then Royal Australian Navy Minesweeper. In 1980 it was re engined and fitted out as a prawn trawler, and also spent time fishing the seas for other catches, including abalone in Tasmania. It was refitted for passengers and based in Perth for the America's Cup challenge before cruising the waters between Brisbane and Lizard Island for six months last year (1987). Mr Hillier said the cruise to Cairns and Lizard Island was a huge success, but it was difficult to get passengers for the return voyage to Brisbane (article ends).

Blurred newspaper images of the spacious saloon onboard Teal with a bar and dining area with buffet servery to starboard and an advertisement in the Cairns Post Travel Section 21st. March 1988.


Hong Kong, Caribbean Sea, Greece & Cyprus


In early 1989 Teal moved back to Tasmania - The Yamba Harbourmaster's log records: "Teal entered Clarence 21/03/1989 from Southport - no departure recorded." She then sailed to Hong Kong for a short period (Info Dept. of Defence Disposals) but was next reported in Greek Cyprus waters working as a tourist boat/diving tender before being sold to a buyer in Athens, Greece in 1990 (Info Qld Transport), acting for the Near East University (NEU), Cyprus. On 10th. April 1991, Queensland Transport, Marine and Ports Division responded to an inquiry from Williams and Smithells Ltd., Southampton, UK re the previous survey status of the vessel MV Teal. The NEU web site also states that Teal worked in "Australia's Great Barrier Reef on the east coast and later in Central America between the Caribbean Sea and the tropical islands of the sea and underwater sports has served for tourism." (translated)

University Research Vessel

The NEU, established at Nicosia in 1988, claims to be the sole university on Cyprus which owns a research and practice ship. The students of Tourism and Hotel Management Department have the opportunity to study their applied courses on this ship which is the training center and laboratory of the Maritime Faculty. The ship, which is 46 meters in length and 8.5 meters in width, and 500 gross tones, is equipped with all sort of equipment necessary for water sports. She has been re-engined with a pair of GMs.

In this respect, the Near East Teal (Named Ana Sayfa which in islamic loosely means "origin or source of knowledge", is registered in Magusa, the Turkish name for Famagusta, Northern Cyprus although she normally moors in the Port of Girne north of Nicosia) is in service for specialist local and foreign underwater archaeology researchers as well as it is in service for educational facilities of Cyprus. The university has already developed multidimensional projects in relevant fields in cooperation with other universities carrying out scientific studies in maritime studies and environmental pollution.

(This is a translation): "Marine Engineering Management Science and Engineering Department and the Maritime Administration and Management Department of the education of students, practice and research have been brought suitable M/Y TEAL, also designed to be used as a laboratory. Near East University, Tourism and Hotel Management students also created opportunities to do practical courses at the same time on the ship. The ship, which is required to make all kinds of water sports are equipped with tool and equipment. Therefore, all kinds of researchers in the university and its sister universities, oceanographic, meteorological and hydrological research field near an underwater local and foreign experts, researchers can serve archeology. Environmental and marine pollution, continental shelf and bathymetric studies and surveys the scene, such as fresh water sources flowing into the sea, the M/Y TEAL, has qualities that can keep pace with the evolving technology."

The fully computeriser video control centre onboard. Island of Cyprus. Magusa is the deepest and one of the oldest ports in Cyprus. The red area is the DMZ. View south accross Port of Girne from the deck of NEU Teal (Ana Sayfa).

Teal alongside at Girne in 2012


Conversion Plans, Conditions for Certificates of Survey and more photos of MV Teal




HMAS Snipe, M1102, De-Commissioned in 1983


Snipe, M1102, was built as Alcaston by the parent company John I. Thornycroft & Co Ltd, of Southampton. The second of 118 units to be launched, M1102 was in fact the first CMS to be completed and commission into the Royal Navy. In the RAN she decommissioned from 16th. Dec. 1966 (after returning from the Indonesian Confrontation) until 2nd. March 1968 and again on 31st. Dec. 1968, to be converted to a minehunter from April 1969 until Dec. 1970.

Snipe recommissioned on 8th. Feb. 1971. She decommissioned on 17th. June 1983 and was placed in reserve after being robbed of parts for Curlew, and then sold in early 1985 to be broken up at Homebush Bay, Sydney. The tender was advertised in the Canberra Times on 15th. December 1984 and closed on 30th. January 1985. This 1988 photo shows a partly salvaged Snipe in the same position at Homebush Bay where Gull was previously broken up. (GKAC pic)

The old NSW State owned brickworks is in the background.

Homebush Bay was redeveloped for the Sydney 2000 Summer Olympic Games or the Millennium Games/Games of the New Millennium, officially known as the Games of the XXVII Olympiad.



Second last to De-Commission was HMAS Ibis, M1183


Ibis, M1183, was the fourth of six Tons built at Montrose Shipyard in Montrose, Scotland as Singleton and enjoyed a long life as did Curlew, launched from the same yard. Ibis decommissioned into reserve several times: 15th. Jan. 1968 to 7th. Nov. 1969, 17th. Dec. 1970 to 1st. June 1973. The last crew paid off Ibis on 4th. May 1984. The ship was a lonely figure on the reserve dolphins after Snipe and Melbourne departed for the breakers. Ibis was sold later in 1985 to be broken up.
At anchor off Watson's Bay for photographs - Paying off crew. Navy News photo with Paying Off Penant flying
HMAS Ibis outboard of Snipe (no funnel on Snipe - davits removed from both ships) in Reserve alongside Vendetta in 1984. Ibis and Snipe awaiting disposal - both were sold for salvage in 1985.
HMAS Ibis alongside Snipe in Reserve - anchors and radars removed - awaiting disposal as is 21 - HMAS Melbourne (sold to China in February 1985). The caption on this slightly blurred NSW Maritime Heritage photo is "Two other RAN vessels being broken up at Haslams Creek, Homebush Bay in 1988." - On the outboard side of the dark hulled vessel (which could be the old MWL257) is another Ton, listing to starboard and up by the stern - probably aground, which should be Ibis as she was the last to be sold for salvage in late 1985. Look for the white wheelhouse door, above is the port light box and the wing of the bridge - the main superstructure appears intact but without the mast.



HMAS Curlew, M1121, was the last of the Tons to De-Commission in 1990


Curlew, M1121, the second of six Tons built at Montrose Shipyard, Montrose, Scotland as Chediston was De-Commissioned on 19th. Dec. 1966 to be converted to a minehunter, recommissioning on 13th. Dec. 1968. Curlew had a long career until decommissioning on 30th. April 1990. She was sold to private interests on 17th. June 1991. Curlew is still seaworthy and afloat (2012) just south of Hobart at Margate, Tasmania.

The Last Wooden Warrior


Read the full history of Curlew from her de-commissioning in 1990


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