Submarine ready for judgement

The iconic HMAS Otway in Holbrook’s Submarine Park has received a make-over with a set of new masts atop the conning tower.

The submarine has seen its old masts replaced by original equipment that would have adorned the conning tower in its days under water.

To the untrained eye it may not seem very different, but when submariners from around the country descend on Holbrook next year over the ANZAC day weekend to celebrate the centenary of submarines in Australia it will add a dash of authenticity.

Holbrook Submarine Museum curator Roger Cooper shares a special affinity with the project, having served on the submarine in 1974 as a stoker in charge of operating the masts.

Mr Cooper said it was important to him to see a set of authentic masts on the Oberon-class submarine given his time as their operator.

“I’ve wanted to do this for many, many years now,” Mr Cooper said.

“With submariners from all over Australia coming to Holbrook next year we’re going to have some pretty strong judges in town.

“A lot of those submariners are going to be guys who served on the Oberon-class.

“My grandchildren come down to see the submarine and I show them around the Otway.

“To be able to show them what I was a part of with the real thing there is great.”

The Otway’s new equipment includes an attack periscope, search periscope, SH-DF mast, radio mast and snort induction mast.

Funding for the project came through a grant from the Australian National Maritime Museum.

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