|Smoke from a fire onboard HMAS Bundaberg bellows from a maintenance shed in Hemmant, Brisbane.|
The Chief of the Royal Australian Navy says he is thankful to the Queensland Fire and Emergency Service for their efforts to extinguish a serious fire onboard the Armidale Class Patrol Boat HMAS Bundaberg, in Brisbane, yesterday.
Bundaberg was undergoing a period of routine maintenance in a shed at Aluminium Boats Australia (ABA) when the fire erupted around midday.
The Queensland Fire Brigade attended quickly and worked for more than four hours to bring the intense fire under control.
Two civilian contractors were treated for smoke inhalation. All other civilian and Navy personnel were safely evacuated. A full investigation will be carried out to determine the cause of the fire.
Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Tim Barrett, will visit the site tomorrow to inspect the damage.
“I have been advised that HMAS Bundaberg has suffered significant damage, though we will not know the full extent until the vessel has been fully examined.”
“The Queensland Fire Brigade worked hard to extinguish the fire and their efforts have earned them the gratitude of the Royal Australian Navy,” Vice Admiral Barrett said.
“Navy personnel are well trained in fighting fires at sea, but when our ships are ashore, outside of their natural habitat, we look to the skills and expertise of civilian firefighters to help us respond to serious incidents.”
Bundaberg is one of 14 patrol boats rotating through border protection operations. Given that Bundaberg was undergoing an extended maintenance period, yesterday’s fire will cause no immediate effect to ongoing operations.
“The most important thing is that no-one was seriously harmed by the fire,” Vice Admiral Barrett said, “the next step is to determine the cause and extent of the materiel damage.”