NORTHPIC - Hubert Hofer

Capsized Trawler (Picture scanned from old slide)

The small Trawler TUPPY 2 was dragging grapling anchors to locate & salvage the anchor & chain lost from the Australian 107000 tonne oil tanker AMPOL SAREL in Gannett Passage just north of Booby Island in about 1984. Unfortunately for the trawler crew, their lines snagged in the bank of the passage & capsized the vessel.
The vessel started to sink just after passing the boat we were on. We headed straight to the scene & a chap on each arm, I pulled the two crew simultaneously onto the Dept. of Transport Pilot vessel TANU skippered by Frank Wruck & crew Danny Abednego.
A Russian container ship was approaching at that time & there was a real possibility of it striking the wreck.
So, as the trawler was sinking I grabbed a scuba tank under my arm & a line in the other hand & without mask or fins held onto its rail & sank to the bottom with the wreck. This enabled the TANU's crew to attach a marker buoy as the TUPPY 2 settled right in the middle of the passage & thus became a serious navigation hazard. The wreck was later blown up by the Australian Navy.

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