Melbourne’s crew dives into action

This article has photo gallery Published on LEUT Joshua Goener (author), LSIS Kieran Dempsey (photographer)

Topic(s): HMAS Melbourne (F05)

Royal Australian Navy Officer Lieutenant Jason Battley surfaces from diving underneath HMAS Melbourne to disentangle a hawser from the propeller during the ship's East Asian Deployment. (photo: LSIS Kieran Dempsey)
Royal Australian Navy Officer Lieutenant Jason Battley surfaces from diving underneath HMAS Melbourne to disentangle a hawser from the propeller during the ship's East Asian Deployment.

When HMAS Melbourne’s fin became tangled in a large berthing hawser and other debris, Lieutenant Jason Battley leapt into action – literally.

As the embarked diving officer on Melbourne during her East Asia Deployment 2019, he led the team that released the fin and recovered the debris to ensure another vessel would not become lodged.

Members of ship’s company lined the waist to haul the heavy line inboard and broke the debris into smaller parts for safe disposal.

Diving into the icy cold waters of the East China Sea might seem surreal for many Australians, but for Lieutenant Battley it could not have been more natural.

A former maritime warfare officer in the permanent Navy, he now works as a workshop manager in Western Australia and is part of the Navy Reserve.

“The current opportunities and service categories in place made it easy for me to get involved once more,” Lieutenant Battley said.

“Leaving my young family and readjusting to a life away is always a challenge but I’m more than happy to help out.

“It’s become apparent to me since leaving the permanent forces the sacrifices that Navy members with families make on a daily basis.”