Surprise visit on Diamantina

This article has photo gallery Published on LEUT Miah Hammond-Errey (author)

Location(s): Cairns, Queensland

Sub Lieutenant Chloe Stevens takes a fix on HMAS Diamantina during her pilotage into Cairns. (photo: Unknown)
Sub Lieutenant Chloe Stevens takes a fix on HMAS Diamantina during her pilotage into Cairns.

Sub Lieutenant Chloe Stevens got the mother and father of all surprises when the crew of HMAS Diamantina invited her parents onboard to watch the junior officer pilot the warship into Cairns - her home town. 

The crew knew Sub Lieutenant Stevens had not seen her family in a long time due to Navy commitments and that she was about to deploy to the Solomon Islands for a month on Operation RENDER SAFE. 

Following a boat transfer from the base at HMAS Cairns to Diamantina, her parents were led to the bridge to watch their daughter's surprise and subsequent pilotage. 

Sub Lieutenant Stevens said she would "cherish" the moment for the rest of her life.

"I am so grateful for the opportunities Diamantina has presented me with, and I look forward to the remaining time I have left with her ship's company," she said.

The minehunter deployed as part of the RENDER SAFE mission as part of the Australian Defence Force-led operation to remove unexploded ordnance from South West Pacific nations, leftover after the Second World War.

Sub Lieutenant Stevens has been conducting phase three of her Junior Warfare Application Course, which teaches Maritime Warfare Officers in the Royal Australian Navy to be part of the tam on the bridge of a warship.

There are four phases of training before officers are eligible to drive an Australian ship without supervision.

As part of the third phase, Sub Lieutenant Stevens was posted to Diamantina to learn navigation and ship handling. 

Sub Lieutenant Stevens said the time on board had been a boon for her training. 

"I was thrilled to have been offered such an opportunity, and I was even more so when I viewed the ship's program featured a port visit to Cairns," she said.