The mystery ship of Botany Bay


It is known as the mystery ship of Botany Bay.

The ex Royal Australian Navy minehunter HMAS Rushcutter has been moored in the waters of Woolooware Bay for about 10 years.

Recently it was moved to another mooring in the bay heightening the mystery surrounding it.

The history of the ship is well-known but its future is not.

HMAS Rushcutter was built for the Royal Australian Navy by Carrington Shipways at Tomago, NSW.

It was launched in 1986 along her sister ship, HMAS Shoalwater.

Both ships were decommissioned in January, 2001 and sold on behalf of the Department of Defence in 2003.

Bruce McIntosh, convener of Sons and Daughters of Sirius has been trying to find out the current status of ex-HMAS Rushcutter.

The Sons and Daughters of Sirius is an association of current and former members of the Naval Cadet Unit TS Sirius.

Mr McIntosh has a particular interest in finding out about the ownership of the Rushcutter.

He originally sought permission to use the ship for training purposes for naval cadets.

He thought it could have been restored with the help of a business consortium but now believes this hope may be a bridge too far.

In 2017, Mr McIntosh sought details under Freedom of Information from the Department of Defence the current status of ex-HMAS Rushcutter.

"Although completed and commissioned in November 1986 (Rushcutter) and October 1987 (Shoalwater), the two minehunters were not formally accepted into naval service until June 1994," Mr McIntosh said.

"Both ships also had restriction....

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