On This Day
1976-1999 > Post Vietnam
On This Day - 1976-1999
- January 31, 1998
The Collins class submarine, HMAS FARNCOMB was commissioned at Adelaide, SA. FARNCOMB was laid down in the Australian Submarine Corporation, and launched on 15 December 1995.
- December 14, 1997
The former destroyer escort HMAS SWAN was sunk as a dive wreck in Geographe Bay, WA.
- November 13, 1997
HMAS Moresby decommissioned, having steamed 1,170,421.7nm (or 2,167,620.9km) in 88,241.8 hours underway. She retired as the oldest ship in the fleet at 33 years of age, and was the last to feature teak decks. The ship was sold via public tender in 1999 and renamed MV Patricia Anne Hotung. She was later used to transport and repatriate Timorese refugees from Indonesia back to Timor-Leste
- July 1, 1997
VADM D. B. Chalmers, AO, RAN, was appointed at Chief of Naval Staff.
- April 9, 1997
Ex-HMAS VAMPIRE, (Daring class destroyer), was transferred outright, as a gift from the Australian Government to the Australian National Maritime Museum, in Sydney.
- February 11, 1997
RADM C.A. Ritchie, AM, RAN, was appointed as Maritime Commander, Australia.
- January 9, 1997
HMAS ADELAIDE’s Sea King helicopter was launched to conduct the rescue of round-the-world yachtsman Theirry Dubois. Dubois was winched onboard the helicopter later that morning and was described as “being in remarkably good condition for a man who had spent four days floating in a life raft in the freezing Southern Ocean. ADELAIDE then turned towards the upturned EXIDE CHALLENGER to rescue yachtsman Tony Bullimore. The frigate deployed her rigid hull inflatable boat, (RHIB), which came alongside the yacht. Bullimore, who had been living inside the upturned hull swam out and was rescued by the crew of the RHIB. Queen Elizabeth II later sent the following message of congratulations:- “I would be grateful if you would pass on both my congratuations to all members of the Australian Defence Force who have made possible the two dramatic rescues in the Southern Ocean over these recent days and , through HMAS ADELAIDE my warm good wishes to Tony Bullimore on his extraordinary feat of survival”.
- January 7, 1997
The tanker, HMAS WESTRALIA, (CMDR Ladomirski, RAN), sailed from HMAS STIRLING to support HMAS ADELAIDE in her rescue of two round-the-world solo yachtsmen, (Frenchman Thierry Dubois, and Briton Tony Bullimore). ADELAIDE had sailed south the day before, but would need to refuel once the rescue was complete in order to return safely to Western Australia.
- January 6, 1997
PC3 Orion aircraft from 92 Wing, (RAAF Edinburgh), located the capsized yachts, AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL, and EXIDE CHALLENGER, in the Great Southern Ocean, and dropped life rafts. The guided missile frigate, HMAS ADELAIDE, (CAPT R. W. Gates, RAN), was crash-sailed from HMAS STIRLING to rescue the yachtsmen.
- January 5, 1997
Two yachts in the Vendee Globe solo, non-stop circumnavigation race capsized in extreme rough weather in the Great Southern Ocean. The yachts, AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL, (Thierry Dubois), and EXIDE CHALLENGER, (Tony Bullimore), both activated their EPIRB systems, and thus set in train one of the greatest rescues at sea ever undertaken by the RAN.