Port welcomes vessel which bears our name
ALL gunned up with weapons, jet boats, the latest in GPS navigation and a skilled 22-member crew, the brand new 56m Armidale-Class patrol boat Nuship Bundaberg arrived at Bundaberg Port Marina about 6.30am yesterday.
Strong seas tested the vessel as it travelled from its base in Cairns for an official commissioning ceremony on Saturday.
Lieutenant Commander Rod Newbold, who captains the vessel, said it would operate as a border patrol ship.
"It can be driven at any one time with only two people and everything is electronic, including the maps," Lieutenant Commander Newbold said.
"When it is in operation, it will work on a rotating roster for six weeks at a time on border patrol in the northern waters as far as Christmas Island."
It will be the second HMAS Bundaberg to be commissioned and was named after a Corvette vessel that served in New Guinea and the Pacific during Second World War.
Four original crew members, Syd Wells, John Orme, Alan McClelland and Allan James took the nostalgic journey from Cairns with the crew to attend the ceremony.
Bundaberg resident Carole Donohue joined about 100 other spectators when the Nuship Bundaberg docked.
"It was amazing to see it on the horizon and was much bigger than what I had expected," she said.
"My husband and I have a good friend, Syd Wells, who was on the original HMAS Bundaberg so we came to see him."