On This Day
On This Day - 2000-2019
- August 29, 2001
The master of the MV TAMPA declared a ‘state of emergency’, due to the health of some refugees, and the potential for violence amongst others, and took the vessel into Australian waters off Christmas Island.
- August 26, 2001
The master of the MV TAMPA, (CAPT Arne Rinnan), attempted to take his vessel to Indonesia, to offload the 460 people he had rescued from the fishing boat PALAPA. Several of the refugees threatened him with violence, and also that they would jump overboard, unless the ship sailed to Australia. CAPT Rinnan requested permission to enter Australian waters, however, this was refused as the rescue had taken place in International waters, and the vessel and crew were Indonesian. HMAS MANOORA, (landing platform amphibious), then en-route to the Philippines, was redirected south to Christmas Island, to be on standby to support Australian Government directives.
- August 24, 2001
HMAS CANBERRA and HMAS WARRAMUNGA, (guided missile frigates), with HMAS MANOORA (landing platform amphibious), arrived in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam for a good will visit.
A team of RAN and RAAF personnel were deployed to Christmas Island, to conduct a search of the Old European Cemetery, to find the remains of a sailor buried there in February 1942. The remains floated ashore in a Carley float in early February 1942, and are believed to have come from HMAS SYDNEY, (cruiser), which was sunk in November 1941. Despite an extensive search of a portion of the cemetery, no remains were found, and the search party departed on 7 September.
A dilapidated 20 metre wooden fishing boat named the PALAPA, with 433 mainly Afghan refugees on board, and 27 Indonesian crew members, was located in a position some 75 nautical miles to the north of Christmas Island. The vessel was attempting to reach Christmas Island where the refugees would claim political asylum. The Norwegian cargo ship MV TAMPA, then en-route to Singapore, was directed to rescue the passengers and crew. This was the opening phase in an action that became known as the TAMPA Affair and had wide ranging implication for the RAN and Australian Government.
- June 15, 2001
HMAS KANIMBLA, (landing ship personnel assault), arrives in the Solomon Islands to commence peacekeeping duties as part of Operation Trek. She was later relieved by HMAS MELBOURNE, (guided missile frigate), in July 2001.
- June 2, 2001
The Huon class mine hunter coastal HMAS GASCOYNE, was commissioned. GASCOYNE was laid down in ADI Yard, Newcastle, NSW, and launched on 11 March 2000.