Sydney Sailor’s Brand New Life at Sea

This article has photo gallery Published on CPL Mark Doran (author and photographer)

Topic(s): Operations, Operation MANITOU, HMAS Melbourne (F05)

Royal Australian Navy sailor Seaman Boatswains Mate Daniel Haggland provides force protection for HMAS Melbourne during a visit to a port in the Middle East Region. Seaman Haggland is on his first sea trip and his first operational deployment. (photo: Corporal Mark Doran)
Royal Australian Navy sailor Seaman Boatswains Mate Daniel Haggland provides force protection for HMAS Melbourne during a visit to a port in the Middle East Region. Seaman Haggland is on his first sea trip and his first operational deployment.

A Western Sydney lad from Glenwood has just started his new life in the Navy and is already committed to a life at sea.

Seaman Boatswains Mate Daniel Haggland is deployed aboard HMAS Melbourne, which is patrolling in the Middle East region on Operation Manitou, Australia's contribution to the multinational Combined Maritime Forces (CMF).

When he finished school, South African-born Seaman Haggland decided to follow in the footsteps of his brother, Able Seaman Matthew Haggland of HMAS Newcastle, and join the Navy.

He decided on the bosun's role because it looked to be the most interesting life for a sailor at sea.

Adventure was already waiting for the younger Haggland, and on completion of his initial training he directly joined Melbourne in the Middle East for the warship's second patrol.

"I am excited to be a part of the operation and looking forward to travelling the world and having new experiences with the Navy," he said.

"Melbourne's crew have been great, they are very helpful and quick to lend a hand if I need help."

Melbourne
is conducting maritime security operations with CMF’s Combined Task Force 150, which undertakes patrols in the Indian Ocean and Arabian Gulf to intercept vessels smuggling drugs that help fund international terrorism.

With two weeks of patrolling the high seas under his belt, Seaman Haggland said life aboard Melbourne was thrilling and fast-paced.

"In my role I spent a lot of time as look-out or on the helm learning how to drive the ship, which has been interesting," he said.

"The first hour on the helm was daunting, but once you get the knack of driving a warship, it's not that hard.

"I have seen suspect fishing dhows being boarded and searched, and I was involved in a replenishment at sea where Melbourne took on fuel from a United States Naval Ship.”

Seaman Haggland said his training had only given him a glimpse of life at sea and there was still a lot to learn, like firing the force protection weapons from the ship or putting on a wet-suit.

"I didn’t expect to be doing that already, but I do enjoy it," he said.

"Doing our tasks on a deployment feels completely different from the classroom.

"I think I have chosen the right career and am enjoying my time with Melbourne."