- Howland, Tony
- Ship histories and stories
- RAN Ships
- HMAS Warrnambool I, HMAS Swan II, HMAS Voyager I
- September 2007 edition of the Naval Historical Review (all rights reserved)
By all accounts, there was no panic. Under the temporary command of the First Lieutenant, every effort was made to keep the ship afloat. Cables were slung beneath her in the hope of bringing other ships alongside to tow her aground in shallow water. The wounded were taken off in boats and transferred to Swan. There, Swan’s doctor and Warrnambool’s medic treated the injured on the wardroom table. Three bodies were sewn into canvas on the deck.
Eventually, the decision was made to let Warrnambool go. It took her an hour to sink. Four sailors had become the last naval casualties of WWII operations. It is perhaps a miracle that more lives were not lost, given that the ship took the full blast of the mine. Swan made best speed to Cairns and survivors were flown by the RAAF to hospitals in Brisbane and Sydney.
Naval Clearance Diving teams from HMAS Cairns later inspected the wreck whilst clearing more mines around Cape Grenville. She sits in about 25 metres of water, almost upright and in generally good condition, although the mortal damage caused by the mine is obvious.
On 3 July, 1972, the wreck was sold to Southern Cross Diving and Salvage of Dee Why, New South Wales.