Two 'stokers' from HMAS Tobruk put their mechanical skills to good use on 30 March when they went ashore at Dillon’s Bay on Erromango Island, Vanuatu, to repair the village chief’s ute.
Leading Seaman Marine Technician Dale Tiyce-Nelson and Seaman Marine Technician Callum Hunter spent almost three hours working on the Nissan Patrol to remedy a fuel problem, and when they left it was running as good as new.
Leading Seaman Tiyce-Nelson said he volunteered for the job because he really enjoyed helping people in need.
“Getting the ute going will benefit everyone, as they had only one other vehicle to serve the whole village and it’s a pretty simple task compared to what we normally do,” he said.
“It means a lot more to fix a car here than it does back in Australia.”
Seaman Hunter said he was offered the job ashore by his Warrant Officer as recognition for working hard on the ship.
“It’s rewarding to me to be able to help the people of this community get their normal lives back on track,” he said.
“After a thorough investigation, we found the ute had a leaking injector so we replaced the ‘O’ rings, put thread tape on the fuel lines and put it all back together.”
Dillon’s Bay village chief Jason Mete said he was very thankful the Australian sailors had got his vehicle up and running again.
“Now that it is repaired it will be good for the whole village, as it is our main connection to the outside world,” he said.