Australian Navy heavy lift ship Tobruk to be scuttled by June 2018

Australian defense department file photo of former HMAS Tobruk

Queensland authorities on Thursday announced the award of a contract for the scuttling of former Australian Navy heavy lift ship HMAS Tobruk in the waters of Wide Bay.

Maritime and disposals company Birdon Pty will be in charge of the undertaking and is, according to officials, likely to complete it by June 2018, six months ahead of schedule.

Birdon has been undertaking ship-keeping services on the vessel in the port of Bundaberg and was the contractor behind the successful preparation and scuttling of ex-HMAS Canberra.

Birdon’s Disposals Manager Trent Raines said the company has been following ex-HMAS Tobruk on her journey from decommissioning nearly 18 months ago.

“This is a project we were very keen to be involved in,” Raines said. “Birdon also scuttled the ex-HMAS Canberraand is currently deconstructing and recycling ex-HMAS Sydney in Henderson WA.

Tobruk had provided 34 years of service to Australia, sailing more than 947,000 nautical miles. It will continue its life as a diving site and a tourist destination.

Tobruk was deployed on 26 major operations, including the Sinai Peninsula, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Bougainville, the Middle East, East Timor and the Philippines. She was awarded Battle Honours for her East Timor service in 1999.


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