HMAS Paluma Showcases Hydro Capability
On an overcast northern tropical day, the crew of HMAS Paluma got their first taste of stardom when the production company, Great Southern Film and Television embarked to film ‘Coast – Australia’.
The long-running BBC series explores how and why coasts are mapped and presented a unique opportunity for Paluma’s crew to illustrate the important role Navy plays in surveying uncharted sections of the Australian coastline.
Paluma’s Commanding Officer, LCDR Geoffrey Walker welcomed presenter Neil Oliver and his film crew onboard before setting sail to conduct surveys around Green Island and Mission Bay, just approximately 15 nautical miles off Cairns.
Throughout the day the production crew observed the day to day operations of a Survey Motor Launch vessel. Presenter Neil Oliver was particularly impressed when shown the Moving Vessel Profiler and data recording systems demonstrated during a survey of the 50 year old un-named barge wreck submerged 35 meters beneath the ocean off Green Island, commenting on how clear the image was.
Later in the day the film crew were educated on the surveying techniques used in the days of the Early European explorers, showing Neil Oliver how to survey the position of Paluma as she entered into Mission Bay using a sextant and the Hand Lead Line.
Petty Officer Hydrographic Systems Manager, Russell Hinze, said it was a good illustration for the crew on just how far survey technology has progressed.
“It’s easy these days to forget just how challenging this may have been and it’s incredible to see how accurate the observations of our forbears were, said PO Hinze.
“The visit by the BBC crew was a great chance to show the important work of the HSO branch. Hopefully this show can create interest and a better understanding of the important service we provide to not only the Navy, but to the safety of all mariners,” said PO Hinze.
Press Release, May 7, 2013; Image: Australian Navy