HOPEFUL DEVELOPMENT: Dive operator Brett Lakey believes the Tobruk should be righted.
HOPEFUL DEVELOPMENT: Dive operator Brett Lakey believes the Tobruk should be righted. Max Fleet BUN210715LME12

Tobruk official says wreck mistake should be righted

AN EX-HMAS Tobruk dive operator said he believes the wreck should be righted after a dive trip of the former naval vessel yesterday.

Lady Musgrave Experience owner and dive operator Brett Lakey inspected the site yesterday, and said authorities were considering all possible options including whether to right the wreck.

Mr Lakey told the NewsMail that he believed the Tobruk, which came to rest on its starboard side, should be righted.

"I believe every piece of information, study, test and research should go into righting the vessel," Mr Lakey said.

"I believe it will be one of, if not, the best wreck dive in Australia due to what the guys have done in preparation and with the natural layout of the vessel."

Currently lying on its side in Great Sandy Marine Park, off the coast of Bundaberg, ex-HMAS Tobruk was intended to be a world-wide diving hot spot.




SIDE ON: Divers inspected the site once it was safe to do so and advised that the ship has settled on her starboard side, as was apparent as it began to roll in the final stages.
SIDE ON: The ship settled on her starboard side. Subsea Works



Mr Lakey said officials had been willing to assess every option for the Tobruk.

"Parks and the contractors have been very, very willing to help and assist getting me out there to dive with the other operators,"

Mr Lakey said he believed what he saw during his dive of the wreck was a glimpse of a promising future for the wonky wreck.

He said having the Tobruk as an internationally recognised dive site was still on the cards.

"The dive went well. It's a great dive obviously, it'll be a great dive.

"I think that is why a lot of people have been throwing around the 'world class dive site' - because if this vessel had been righted it would be without a doubt a world class dive site."



The sinking of ex-HMAS Tobruk off the coast of Bundaberg on Friday 29/06/18.
GOING UNDER: Ex-HMAS Tobruk begins to roll during the final stages of her scuttling on June 29. Craig Warhurst





Mr Lakey said he planned to put forward his opinions on what he saw during the dive to other officials and operators involved with the scuttling of the Tobruk.

On Tuesday, Mr Lakey told the NewsMail about the most recent developments following the scuttling of the ship.

He said safety was a top priority for everyone involved in the project if a decision to right the wreck is to be made.

"I think it is a matter on whether there is any risk to the vessel or the safety of the ship once it is put on its upright, making sure it is not going to collapse or put down,"

At the time, Mr Lakey said that if the Tobruk could not be righted, the site would still bring in eager divers.

"It's still going to be an amazing dive site and the longer it goes on the better it will become with the congregation of marine life and the coral growth on it, which will mean other divers will want to come back."