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Tanner Island

Buccaneer Archipelago, Derby Western Australia
Ref: 1643 Built: 1951 Elevation: 23 Tower: 6 Range: 22 Lat: 16-05.9 Long: 123-31.7

The next day and a half was spent steaming the 530km to Tanner Island. Even though the ship is diesel-electric the term steaming is still used. Sailing or steaming sounds ok but motoring seems out of place for a ship. During this time the crew continued with the ongoing maintenance that was required to keep the vessel ship-shape. A lot of this appeared to be rust removal and painting. The ship anchored about 1km from Tanner Island just as the sun came over the horizon on 16-8-02, a calm, cloudless morning. Tanner Island is more like a large rock jutting out of the water and has no beaches so the boat had to be used to take the maintenance crew and supplies ashore. Reaching the island was deceptively difficult because, even though the sea was flat there is a substantial current that runs through Yampi Sound. Once the boat reached the island it had to be nosed into the rocks. Once ashore getting to the top of the island was also difficult as it required clambering upwards over large slippery rocks. To get the supplies ashore the Nav Aids firstly had to assemble the derrick crane located at the top of a cliff at the end of a small inlet. While this was being done the IRs carried the supplies from the boat across the rocks to the base of the cliff. The supplies were then hauled to the top of the island manually, by the four Nav Aids and Jason Campbell, one of IRs. As this service included a battery change there was a lot of weight that went up and down the cliff although the old batteries going down were used to offset the weight of the new batteries coming up. From the cliff top the supplies had to be carried to the tower. Besides the standard maintenance and battery change a lot of scrub was cleared from around the tower and the helipad. Tanner Island is one of many lights where helicopter maintenance would be beneficial. It was a long day for the crew who didn't arrive back on the ship until after dark.

Tanner Island, Derby WA
Tanner Island, Derby WA


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