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HMAS Otway (S 59)

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HMAS Otway (S 59) was an Oberon-class submarine of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). One of the first four Oberon-class boats ordered for the RAN, Otway was built in Scotland during the mid-1960s, and commissioned into naval service in 1968. The submarine was decommissioned in 1994. The submarine's upper casing, fin, and stern are preserved at Holbrook, New South Wales.

Otway arrived in Australian waters in September 1968 after sailing from the United Kingdom via ports in Africa. During this voyage, the boat became the first RAN vessel to visit Ghana, and the first RAN submarine to round the Cape of Good Hope.

On 10 January 1969, the submarine escorted HMS Trump, the last submarine of the Royal Navy's Australia-based 4th Submarine Squadron out of Sydney Harbour.

During 1970, the submarine visited New Zealand and was involved in training exercises in the Indian Ocean.

In March and April 1971, Otway participated in SEATO Exercise Subok. On 26 August 1971, Otway's fin was struck by a dummy helicopter-dropped torpedo during training exercises in Jervis Bay. There was only superficial damage to the submarine, which was quickly repaired. On 1 September, the fin was damaged again when a periscope mast was hit by a whale: repairs were completed in Sydney that day. In October, the submarine visited Brisbane for Navy Week, but was forced to sail on short notice and with only two-thirds of her personnel to locate and rescue the crew of the ketch One and All, which had run aground on Middleton Reef.

HMAS Otway paid off on 17 February 1994. The submarine's fin was donated to the town of Holbrook, New South Wales, an inland community with strong ties to submarines since World War I, when the town was renamed after British submariner and Victoria Cross recipient Norman Douglas Holbrook. The community decided to tender for the purchase of the rest of the submarine, but despite fundraising efforts and a large donation from Holbrook's widow, the town did not win the tender. The submarine was sold to Sims Metal for scrapping in November 1995.[citation needed] Undeterred, the working group created for the tendering process instead used the money raised to buy the upper section of the casing - everything above the waterline when surfaced - plus the submarine's tail section, from Sims Metal.[citation needed]

The casing was sectioned, transported down the Hume Highway on semi-trailers, then reassembled on site with the help of unemployed trainees on a work for the dole scheme.[14] Otway was dedicated as a submarine memorial on 7 June 1997. The Holbrook Submarine Museum was later established nearby.

In 2013, the fin was fitted with periscopes and masts of the type fitted to Otway while in service.


Museum info:
Address: 15 Wallace Street, Holbrook, NSW 2644, Australia
Phone: +61260362422
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