On This Day
1976-1999 > Post Vietnam
On This Day - 1976-1999
- 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.
- September 13, 1996
HMAS SWAN, (destroyer escort), was decommissioned at HMAS STIRLING, WA, after a career spanning 26 years. She was later gifted to the West Australian State Government, and sunk as a dive wreck in Geographe Bay
- July 27, 1996
The Collins class submarine HMAS COLLINS, (CMDR P. R. Sinclair, RAN), was commissioned. COLLINS was laid down in The Australian Submarine Corporation Yard, Adelaide, SA, and launched on 28 August 1993. Lady Phyllis Collins, (Wife of VADM Sir John Collins, KBE, CB, RAN, (deceased)), performed the launching ceremony.
- May 18, 1996
The ANZAC class guided missile frigate, HMAS ANZAC was commissioned. ANZAC was laid down at Tenix Williamstown Dockyard, VIC, and launched on 16 September 1994. Lieutenant Colonel V. Statham, AO, MBE, ARRC, ED, FNM, performed the launching ceremony.
- May 13, 1996
HMAS ANZAC, (lead ship of the new ANZAC Class frigates), was commissioned at Williamstown Dockyard, VIC.
- January 31, 1996
The use of Morse key for sending messages formally ceased in the RAN after 85 years, to be replaced with modern communication systems. Visual Morse (or flashing light), however, still remains in use
- January 9, 1996
HMAS CANBERRA, (guided missile frigate), left Sydney to be permanently base-ported at HMAS STIRLING, WA.
- December 21, 1995
The badly damaged hulk of HMAS DERWENT was finally scuttled, by charges set by CDT 4, in deep water to the west of Rottnest Island, WA.
During the previous 10 weeks, the old ship had been subjected to a series of tests by DSTO staff, to observe the affect of bomb and shell damage on a warship. Due to the damage to the vessel she was sunk in very deep water to prevent divers attempting to dive on the wreck.