Sunday, 25 December 2011

HMAS Aware - the final chapter

For many years, the former Attack Class patrol boat , “HMAS Aware” has been rusting away in the Burnett River between the Sugar Terminal and the Bundaberg Port Marina. Launched in Brisbane in 1967, the “HMAS Aware” was based at Darwin for a time, seeking Vietnamese refugee boats, and later transferred to Adelaide. It was decommissioned and sold to private ownership in the 1990′s. For sometime it was used as a dive boat and then arrived in Bundaberg in 2006.  It had been an ugly sight – it was listing to one side and there had been some very unsympathetic additions above the deck (believed to have been added in Melbourne). At one point, it was advertised for sale for a mere AUD$85,000. See photo below, courtesy of

Former "HMAS Aware" with ugly additions, prior to destruction

In 2010, the surviving owner, a former crewman from the vessel, was fined $10,000 for failing to keep the vessel insured. This action has probably prompted the removal of the vessel from the river. Here are a couple of photos I took today of the 33m beauty as she lay awaiting the cutting torches.

What absolutely beautiful lines - the former "HMAS Aware" 22 Nov 2011 © JoWo12

The last resting place of the "HMAS Aware" 22 Nov 2011 © JoWo12
 By crikey, I just got those first photos in the nick of time – have a look at this …………………  
The stainless steel driveshafts beside the stern section ©2011 WoJo12

HMAS Aware - the following day

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  1. Wow! Wojo: you have managed to capture the last photos of that piece of maritime history.

    How sad that petty bureaucracy has caused the destruction of such a lovely ship -- presuming that your assumption of the reason for its break-up is correct.

    Thanks for documenting it for 'the world'.

  2. Sad to see her gone, did a couple few trips on this patrol boat in the early 80's.

  3. Amazing photos. I had always wondered what had happened to her. For sure, it's a sad thing to see Aware go, but she served well. Thanks for enlightening me on her location. Never knew that vessel was former RAN. I'd always assumed it was an older private yacht of some sort. You say between the terminal and the marina? Honestly, that itself feels like 33m. Hard to believe Aware could have been just out of sight like that.

  4. That's a beautiful old girl, but it's not overly saddening to see her go. I never knew that she was an old Attack-Class. I just drove past her nearly every time I went down to the marina. Isn't she the one that was sitting by the side of the road following the floods? Or was that a sail boat? Can't recall which, but it was about 33m long...

    Dylan W. of Burnett Heads

  5. Served on her from 1978 till 80 in Darwin, she brought in the last Vietnamese refugee boat in 79 & the 1st in 1980, some of her former skippers went on to be Rear Admirals. Saddened to see a fine ship go the way she did. Deaks LSWM