Tobruk wreck to stay on side
EX-HMAS TOBRUK will remain on her side, with the cost to right it deemed to be “astronomical”, and posing a significant risk of damaging the ship.
Instead, the state government will spend $1 million to promote the wreck as a worldclass dive site.
The decision comes after a independent report commissioned by the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, and prepared by dive researcher Terrence Cummins was analysed by the government.
Mr Cummins undertook two survey dives on September 7, spending one hour seven minutes in the water.
Ms Enoch said by not righting the wreck, it would give dive operators and tourists access sooner rather than later.
“Experienced recreational divers, vessel salvage experts, naval architects and marine engineers provided Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service with expert advice after assessing the ship in its current position,” Ms Enoch said.
“They pointed out a number of serious risks associated with righting the ship, the main being seriously damaging the ship. On top of that, it could have been at least 12 months before the ship could be used as a dive site.
“Preparation work on the Tobruk is expected to take 40 working days, weather dependent. The site will then open to divers soon after, putting Wide Bay on the map as one of our state’s top tourism destinations.”
The government did not provide comment on what the total cost would have been to right the wreck, or whether the company that scuttled the ship had insurance.
The report said it was “obviously disappointing to some that the ex-HMAS Tobruk did not settle on the sea floor as intended”.