HMAS Vampire, our former Royal Australian Navy destroyer left her berth from alongside the Australian National Maritime Museum on Wednesday morning at 10am. She made her way to Thales Dockyard, Garden Island under tow where she is set to undergo an extensive three week docking and refit.

Leaving the Australian National Maritime Museum

Moving an historic vessel such as HMAS Vampire is not as simple as starting the engines and setting off, three tugs are needed to manoeuvre, pull and push her as dead weight through the water. These three tugs were kindly provided by DMS (Defence Maritime Services) and we would like to thank them for their continued support of the museum. We would also like to thank the RAN for providing the pilot to move the Vampire to her dock at Garden Island.

Enroute to Garden Island

As with any vessel that spends its life in the water there is always constant maintenance and upkeep to be carried out. Some of this work can be done during the day to day running of the ship while she is open to the public but inevitably the time will come when a docking is required.

Manouvering into her dock at Garden Island

While she is in the dry dock, Vampire will have her hull blasted and cleaned to remove built up encrustation and growth and her anti fouling will be reapplied to help keep her clean for as long as possible. Inspections of the decks and hull will also be carried out and repairs made to those areas in need.

Built at Sydney’s Cockatoo Island Dock, HMAS Vampire served in the Royal Australian Navy between 1959 and 1986 and has been a popular drawcard since the museum opened in 1991. Even at the age of 50 she still turns heads when out on the harbour!

Additionally, the museum has special permission from Chief of Navy (CN) to fly the White Ensign on both HMAS Vampire and HMAS Onslow as a mark of respect for their service in the RAN and their ongoing promotion of naval history and heritage.

Vampire will return to the National Maritime Museum on Monday 5th July and will be reopening later that week.

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