Frigate aground at Christmas Island
This just in from Defence Media. HMAS Ballarat
At approximately 4pm Sydney time, the Australian Navy’s ANZAC Class Frigate HMAS Ballarat ran aground at Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean. The ship was engaged in Operation Relex II, a border protection activity, at the time. No one was injured. The full extent of the damage is still being assessed but there is known to be damage to the ship’s rudder and propeller. The ship’s hull was not holed. Navy will conduct an investigation into the circumstances of the grounding as soon as possible. Navy will not be able to decide whether the ship will be able to proceed under her own power for repairs until the full extent of the damage is known. No further information is available at this time.It’s never a good career move to navigate one of our navy frigates onto rocks. Update 24 Jan From this mornings Australian
Locals reported that several ships had run aground in the cove over the years as the seabed level changes dramatically near the jetty.and from Defence Media
Since grounding on Christmas Island on Saturday 22 January, HMAS Ballarat has undergone a number of trials to assess the impact of the damage to her propellers and possibly the steering gear. These trials, conducted in consultation with Navy engineers and the ship’s builder, will determine whether the ship will be able to undertake the passage to Fremantle under her own power or whether she will have to be towed. The trials should be completed, and a decision made on whether a tow is required, by late evening Monday 24 January (AEST). The frigate HMAS Canberra sailed from Fleet Base West, near Fremantle, late on Sunday 23 January and is now enroute to Christmas Island. This ship will either escort or tow HMAS Ballarat to Fremantle, depending on the outcome of the trials. She should arrive off Christmas Island late on Wednesday 26 January. An investigation team of two Navy officers will arrive in Christmas Island today to begin preparations for the Navy Board of Inquiry that will convene as soon as possible once the ship arrives in the mainland. The ANZAC-class frigate HMAS Arunta will sail from Fleet Base West mid-morning today to take over duties in Operation RELEX II, on which HMAS Ballarat was employed.