Adelaide’s engineering team restores critical capability

This article has photo gallery Published on LEUT Sam Harris (author)

Topic(s): HMAS Adelaide (L01), Navy Engineering

LS Ronald Turner and PO Jason Juillerat from HMAS Adelaide’s Marine Engineering team work to replace a valve from the ship’s ballast system. (photo: )
LS Ronald Turner and PO Jason Juillerat from HMAS Adelaide’s Marine Engineering team work to replace a valve from the ship’s ballast system.

HMAS Adelaide’s unique amphibious capability was challenged during her recent period at sea as a leak on a seawater pipeline threatened to impact on docking operations.

“It would’ve prevented the ship from ballasting, thereby preventing docking down and the launching landing craft,” Chief Petty Officer Marine Technician Robert Cresswell said.

The LHD, operating in the vicinity of Jervis Bay, was undergoing a series of test and survey activities when the leak was discovered during engineering rounds. It was a sea water leak coming from a motorised valve on the ballast system.

Members of HMAS Adelaide’s Marine Engineering team work to replace a valve from the ship’s ballast system.

Members of HMAS Adelaide’s Marine Engineering team work to replace a valve from the ship’s ballast system.

Due to the size and difficult location of the equipment, a temporary attempt wasn’t successful.

The ship had activities planned for the following days that required docking down, and the decision was made that replacing the valve was the only solution to guarantee Adelaide’s water tight integrity and ability to stay on task.

“We’d thought we’d never find a replacement in such a short time,” said Leading Seaman Marine Technician Ronald Turner, who working with the Maritime Logistics department was able to do just that.

Faced with the issue of getting the nearly 70kg valve to the ship, Chief Petty Officer Marine Technician Darren Harkins, a member of HMAS Adelaide’s ship’s company who was ashore at the time, stepped in and picked up the valve and delivered it to Jervis Bay in just a few hours.

With careful considerations of the risks associated with opening up such a large section of sea water pipework, along with mitigations and appropriate isolations, members of the Marine Engineering O2 Work Centre, under the supervision of Chief Petty Officer Cresswell, were able to carry out the replacement - the day before having to undertake dock operations south from Jervis Bay.

“A job well done to all and I couldn’t be more proud of my team,” Chief Petty Officer Cresswell said after the successful fitting and testing of the valve in its new home.

HMAS Adelaide carried on with testing and survey activities and follow on amphibious, refuelling, de-ammunition and training evolutions thanks to the proficient efforts of the Marine Engineering department.