“Stolen” Submarine

Former HMAS Otama seen 15th May 2022

We were very lucky to get these photos when we did. The HMAS Otama was a Oberon Class submarine of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) from 1978 to 2000. Not much is known about its time in service, except it was extremely important and that it was more of a spy submarine than an attack submarine (Wikipedia).

HMAS Otama in need of extensive restoration. 15th May 2022

It was retired from service in 2000 and became the first and only spy submarine in the world to have been privately bought. It was bought by the Victorian Maritime Centre in 2001 (Wikipedia). They planned to bring it up to a purpose built dry dock where it could be restored and put on public display. However, the VMC never got sufficient funds to build the dry dock by the time the Otama was confiscated by the RAN for scrapping in October 2022. The reason for confiscation may relate to it being a hazard or environmental risk especially during severe weather.

The stern of HMAS Otama with many open hatches and extensive corrosion

Apparently, it cost more to confiscate and carry the submarine than the money it would recover from scrapping, and costing more than building a dry dock for it.

Open hatches at the bow of HMAS Otama. All photographs are copyright and licenceable from Travel Photos PtyLtd

Travel Photos is happy to help with remote and aerial surveys of privately owned items and facilities. Please contact us to learn more.

Former Royal Australian Navy HMAS Otama in Western Port Bay, Vic, 15th May 2022