Divers lend submarine a hand

Published on LEUT Gary McHugh (author)

Topic(s): Fleet Base West, Australian Clearance Diving Team FOUR, HMAS Farncomb (S74)

Clearance Divers of the Underwater Damage Repair element from Australian Clearance Diving Team Four conduct a dive to carry out maintenance on hull equipment on HMAS Farncomb at Fleet Base West. (photo: LSIS Bradley Darvill)
Clearance Divers of the Underwater Damage Repair element from Australian Clearance Diving Team Four conduct a dive to carry out maintenance on hull equipment on HMAS Farncomb at Fleet Base West.
Navy teamwork was on show recently as members of Clearance Diving Team Four came to the aid of their submariner colleagues to carry out a vital piece of maintenance on HMAS Farncomb.
 
The submarine’s command team identified a need to replace a piece of Farncomb’s hull equipment as part of a routine maintenance inspection.
 
So instead of going outside Navy to look for a solution, Farncomb looked across Careening Bay, HMAS Stirling, to where the dive team is based.
 
Farncomb Weapons Electrical Engineering Officer Lieutenant Marty Lee said it was important that all pieces of equipment on the submarine were fully operational when the boat put to sea.
 
“You need to ensure that all parts of the submarine are working as they were designed to in order for the vessel to successfully carry out the tasks it is given,” he said.
 
“The part that is being replaced is a vital piece of equipment in the day-to-day running of the submarine.”
 
Lieutenant Lee said once the part was fitted and tested alongside Diamantina Pier, Farncomb would sail to allow the crew to carry out further tests in an open sea environment.
 
“Once we’re at sea, we’ll conduct physical adjustments of the equipment so that the command team is confident it’s working correctly,” he said.
 
Lieutenant Lee said having of Clearance Diving Team Four replace the part was a win-win situation for Navy.
 
“It’s a great benefit to Navy to have clearance divers working on the submarine,” he said.
 
“As well as providing essential maintenance on the submarine in terms of replacing the part, it also gives clearance divers another opportunity to dive on a submarine which is very different to diving on a surface ship.”