Australian Navy Heavy-Lift Ship Launched At Carrington Slipways

The Governor General of Australia, Sir Zelman Cowen, and Lady Cowen were present at the launching of the Royal Australian Navy's HMAS Tobruk, at Carrington Slipways Pty. Ltd.'s shipyard at Tomago, recently.

Lady Cowen named and launched the $36-million amphibious heavy-lift ship during a traditional ceremony a t t e n d e d by service and Department of Defence personnel, local government officials, VIPs and shipyard workers.

Representatives of the three defense forces included the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Adm. G.J. Willis, the G.O.C. Field Force Command, Major Gen. J.I. Williamson, and the Officer Commanding R.A.A.F. Base Williamtown, Air Commodore W.H. Simmonds.

The HMAS Tobruk, at 6,000 tons and 126 meters long (about 413 feet), is the largest ship built by Carrington Slipways. She was launched sideways into a specially constructed basin which was dredged from shipyard land beside the Hunter River.

The basin is a small inland lake with a bank of earth barring access to the river. More than a meter of water was pumped into the basin to raise the level of water for the launching.

Major construction work on the ship has been completed, and fitting out will continue while the Tobruk is in the basin. The river bank will be broken when the vessel is ready for sea trials. Commissioning is expected to take place in October this year.

The Tobruk's commanding officer will be Comdr. K.A. Doolan

Maritime Reporter Magazine, page 10,  May 1980

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