TOBRUK: Salvager claims crew can help correct scuttled ship
A VETERAN salvage operator has offered to rectify the diving site of the ex-HMAS Tobruk, claiming the management team behind the project "stuffed up".
Sydney-based Devine Marine Salvage has written an open letter to the State Government claiming he can "repair the disaster" more than five months after it was scuttled.
The letter also calls on Hinkler MP Keith Pitt to arrange a time "when I can meet with you in Canberra to present my team's qualifications and evidence of our competency to fix it".
During the scuttling on June 29, the vessel rolled 90 degrees and came to a rest on its starboard side.
Tourism and dive operators claim this has limited dive opportunities at the site and could shorten its lifespan.
In the letter, Salvage Master Captain Brett Devine claims his team can use a par buckling solution to resettle the ship upright.
"Sinking with the aft doors open appears to have been a mistake, this was a flooding control problem that should have been assessed by naval architects and engineers," Mr Devine writes.
"The doors could have been manually opened after sinking by divers using block and tackles or winches from surface craft."
Mr Devine told the Chronicle he had the heavy-lifting gear and certified dive masters required to do the work.
"I thought the Tobruk scuttling was very unprofessional... the project management team stuffed up and didn't adhere to stability calculations," he said.
But a Department of Environment and Science spokesman said offers to "fix" the ship by private individuals were "made on the misunderstanding that the scuttling left the ship with 'significant damage'."
"Nothing could be further from the truth," the spokesman said.
"Diving experts and divers from Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service have inspected the ship and have confirmed there is no structural damage.
A report on the status of the ex-HMAS Tobruk will be announced soon.