Ex-HMAS Darwin set for one last mission as Tassie dive site

Ex-HMAS Darwin has been offered to Tasmania to serve as a tourist dive site (Source Royal Australian Navy)

After long and distinguished service in the Royal Australian Navy, decommissioned vessel ex-HMAS Darwin will receive a new lease on life as a dive wreck in the waters off Tasmania, enabling future generations to appreciate the ship and driving tourism.

Ex-HMAS Darwin was commissioned in July 1984 and was a long-range escort frigate that undertook roles including area air defence, anti-submarine warfare, surveillance, reconnaissance and interdiction. In August 1990, HMAS Darwin became the first Australian ship to deploy to the Persian Gulf.

In 2014, she intercepted over 1,000 kilograms of heroin and over 6,000 kilograms of hashish off the east coast of Africa. In 2016, she intercepted heroin worth $800 million and a cache of weapons from a fishing vessel off the coast of Oman.

Minister for Defence Marise Payne said she was pleased that Darwin would call Tasmania home after sailing over 1 million nautical miles during her 33 years of service.

Darwin was granted three battle honours:

  • East Timor 1999;
  • Persian Gulf 2002-03; and
  • Iraq 2003. 

She was decommissioned in December 2017.

Nationals senator for Tasmania Steve Martin said the decision to gift ex-HMAS Darwin to Tasmania would give a much welcome boost to the local tourism sector, creating new jobs and bringing more visitors to the east coast.

"The creation of a dive wreck offers small businesses in Tasmania the opportunity to capitalise on national and international interest to dive in the magnificent Tasmanian waters," Martin said.

The Commonwealth and Tasmanian governments will work together on funding arrangements for the vessel’s scuttling.

"The addition of a dive wreck will super charge our already booming tourism industry, attracting diving enthusiasts from all around the world, who will stay longer, and spend more in our local communities, particularly in the St Helens region," senator for Tasmania Jonathon Duniam said.



Ex-HMAS Darwin set for one last mission as Tassie dive site
lawyersweekly logo
Recommended by Spike Native Network

more from defence connect

Oct 24 2018
DST scientist honoured for JSF innovation
Australian Defence scientist Paul Marsden has been awarded the US Secretary of Defense Medal for Exc...
Oct 23 2018
Defence summit bigger and better with Queensland Government on board
Promoted by Queensland Defence Summit. Ipswich’s defence manufacturing, logistics and sustainme...
Oct 24 2018
InSpace takes ANU to the stars
The Australian National University (ANU) will use its institute for space, InSpace, to co-ordinate...