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HMAS Maryborough, HMAS Larrakia patrol boats decommissioned from Navy

Armidale Class Patrol boat HMAS Larrakia (II) sails towards Queen Salote Wharf, Nuku'alofa during an ADF visit to Tonga. Photo: CPL Jessica de Rouw.

Royal Australian Navy Armidale Class patrol boats HMAS Maryborough (II) and HMAS Larrakia (II) have been decommissioned after a service life covering almost 800,000 combined nautical miles.

Royal Australian Navy Armidale Class patrol boats HMAS Maryborough (II) and HMAS Larrakia (II) have been decommissioned after a service life covering almost 800,000 combined nautical miles.

The 17-year-old vessel HMAS Larrakia II (434,000 miles) and 15-year-old HMAS Maryborough II (356,000 nautical miles) were both decommissioned at HMAS Coonawarra in Darwin on 28 September.

The pair of patrol boats have previously conducted operations alongside Border Force, Australian Fisheries, and the Australian Federal Police as a primary enabler of Operation Sovereign Borders and Operation Resolute.

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Commanding Officer HMAS Larrakia Lieutenant Commander Christopher Saville said he will miss his Larrakia II crew the most when saying goodbye to a ship.

“It has been a privilege to serve with them. Each individual has brought their own unique personality and experience to Larrakia and that has led to the development of a pretty special culture,” LCDR Saville said.

“Saying goodbye to that culture and the attitude of the officers and sailors is the hardest part.”

Larrakia II previously deployed to the Solomon Islands to support the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force’s COVID-19 response in 2021, and attended range of ports visits to Jakarta, Solomon Islands, Singapore, and Penang.

In 2017, the crew of Maryborough II responded to a major engine room fire and were awarded the Joint Operations Command Group Commendation for exceptional actions. Affectionately nicknamed “the Bruh” by her crew, the vessel attended port visits to Singapore, Jakarta, Auckland, Honiara, and Palau.

“Commanding a patrol boat was a career aspiration when I joined the Navy nearly 18 years ago,” according to Maryborough II final Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Commander Mitchell Thomas.

“It was something I always wanted to do ever since I did a ship tour of a Fremantle Class patrol boat back when I was a kid. Now that it’s over, it’s hard to say goodbye.

“I don’t think anything will ever professionally match being commanding officer of HMAS Maryborough.”

For one of Maryborough II’s longest-serving sailors, Leading Seaman Cameron Morrisson, saying farewell was also highly emotional.

“I’ve essentially served a third of my career on board, so Maryborough II has been a huge part of my life and career, both professionally and personally,” LS Morrisson said.

“I’m thankful for the rare opportunity to get to meet dozens of sailors and officers, create friendships, and mentor the next generation.”

The Royal Australian Navy is undertaking a transition from the existing Armidale Class and Cape Class patrol boats to 12 Arafura Class offshore patrol vessels.

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