Tobruk wreck a divers’ paradise
WHEN ex-HMAS Tobruk reaches its final resting place it will be 10 times bigger than any dive site around the region.
The ship, which is 37m in height, will be a little shorter by this time and lay 5m below the surface.
Queensland Parks and Wildlifes’ Daniel Clifton, who is an experienced diver, said it was an honour being part of the team.
With no naval experience, Mr Clifton has spent many months learning the history of the ship and what was to come.
He said the marine ecosystem would take hold of the ship rapidly and within days would be thriving with sea life.
As a father of two young girls, he said by the time they were old enough to dive there would be an abundance of life down there.
“When diving at 28-30m, the bottom time is restricted and you might only get 10 minutes at that depth,” he said.
“But at 18m you may be able to dive for 45 minutes so most people will dive to the bottom and stay to make their way up checking it out.”
“This will be here for the rest of my life and I’ll even be able to take my grandkids to see her.”
The colonisation will be rapid once the ship is down, Mr Clifton said.
“The really exciting part for me as a marine park ranger is once it goes down it becomes a marine ecosystem,” he said.
“It will start immediately and things (sea life) will come in and become curious and make it their home.”
Mr Clifton said after about two years it would be fully colonised and fully functioning.
“I’m really excited about diving it every couple of months and watching it grow, change and all happen,” he said.
“With Queensland’s warm waters and hyperproductive water we have here there will be life all over it straight away.”
He said there would be all types of marine life attracted to ex-HMAS Tobruk.
“There will be corals, nudibranch, anemones, crabs and crustaceans and shrimps right through to large fish,” he said.
Another major drawcard for divers brave enough to venture out during the colder months will be seeing humpback whales pass overhead.
“It will right out at the perfect location for the whales to pass over,” he said. “And the winter months are the best time of year for diving as the water is always clearer.”