Only option to give Tobruk its ‘wow factor’

THE State Government's botched scuttling of the ex-HMAS Tobruk will need to be corrected and pulled upright according to a local diver.

Lady Musgrave Experience owner Brett Lakey dived the site this week and told News Queensland that because of its orientation after landing on its side, it's potential "wow factor" has been compromised.

"I did do a dive, the fish are starting to congregate already, however my personal view on it (is) if it can be righted safely it should be righted as soon as possible," he said.

"It would be absolutely spectacular if it was upright."

Mr Lakey said it would also be much safer if it was corrected to sit on its hull.

"You could dive it now, but it would be more difficult due top the orientation," he said.

"You would get a very wow factor sense if it was upright - through that tank, you could swim a dozen divers through it.

"At the moment anyone can dive it but the challenging aspects would be for the divers who want to penetrate into it."

HMAS Tobruk is sunk in waters of Hervey Bay.
HMAS Tobruk is sunk in waters of Hervey Bay.

Mr Lakey said he would be submitting his feedback to the government today.

"That's in unison with the other operators as well, their feeling is the same," he said.

"Everyone is happy that it's out there but they also see these challenging factors with it being on its side."

As revealed by The Courier-Mail this week, the State Government has been unable to say how much taxpayers will be left out of pocket for the sinking of ex-HMAS Tobruk after last month's attempt left it on its side, raising concerns with local dive operators.

The ship was scuttled on June 29 off Bundaberg and Hervey Bay in a bid to boost tourism and join Queensland's artificial reefs.

However, it is understood that during the sinking, which has been labelled "a complete disaster", the starboard side filled up with water too quickly and could not be corrected before rolling.



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