HMAS Sheean pays visit to Devonport

The crew atop HMAS Sheean at Devonport wharf yesterday. Picture: SCOTT GELSTON.
The crew atop HMAS Sheean at Devonport wharf yesterday. Picture: SCOTT GELSTON.

SUBMARINES are not often docked at Tasmanian ports, but this week HMAS Sheean and its 68 crew members docked in Devonport.

HMAS Sheean officially re-entered the Royal Australian Navy service yesterday at a rededication ceremony, which reinvigorated its relationship with Latrobe and members of Edward ‘‘Teddy’’ Sheean’s family, after whom the submarine was named.

Royal Australian Navy Commander Richard Smallwood said the ship was one of six Australian submarines in existence.

He said the ship was decommissioned and taken to Adelaide for extensive modifications in 2007.

‘‘The equipment becomes obsolete,’’ Commander Smallwood said.

‘‘It is not like dropping the car at a garage for a couple of days, we do things in the garage for a couple of years.

‘‘They will upgrade to the latest equipment to take in more water efficiently or install new computer systems.

‘‘We are now the most capable of the boats in its class.’’

Commander Smallwood had been in the Royal Navy in the UK for more than 20 years when he entered an exchange job in Australia between 2005 and 2008.

‘‘I lost my heart to Australia,’’ he said.

‘‘I just couldn’t go back.’’

He compared submarine life to camping.

‘‘There is not a lot of room for luxury and not a lot of time for the guys to relax,’’ he said.

‘‘There is a recreational area for each of the specific messes, but your times to exercise or read a book and put your feet up are few and far between.’’

HMAS Sheean was first commissioned 12 years ago yesterday and was named after Edward ‘‘Teddy’’

Sheean because of the Ordinary Seaman’s gallant acts of bravery aboard HMAS Armidale on December, 1, 1942


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