Visitors 30
29 photos
We travelled to Ettalong, NSW on 20th May 2015 to try to locate the tug Protrude, also (Koolya or WT85), believed to be the last Wright Shipyards, Tuncurry, NSW built boat to be still afloat but alas after visiting Blackwall Bay, where we believed her to be moored (last recorded there 2007), we came away with no boat and no leads as to her whereabouts.
The journey was not entirely for nothing as tucked over in the north western part of Riley's Bay opposite Booker Bay we were very pleased to find the WW2 RAAF bomb scow and 50-ton?, 56ftx18ft dive tender the HMAS TORTOISE.
Apart from the number Y292 placed prominently on the bow of the port or left hand side of the still registered, rather disheveled looking vessel, there were no obvious name markings to suggest it was in fact the Tortoise.
The HMAS TORTOISE was a sister ship to the HMAS TURTLE and both could be immediately recognised by the size of their names painted on the stern.
Construction of '015-73' ? later known as Tortoise, commenced in late 1944 and was completed in 1945 at Slazengers Pty Ltd Shipyards on the Cooks River at Alexandria ? in Sydney.
The HMAS TORTOISE and the HMAS TURTLE were two of 6 x 50 ton ? vessels built as RAAF harbour and island service craft, or bomb scows, capable of carrying 2-1/4 tons of cargo in a single hold serviced by a derrick post. Another 27 boats were under construction when the war ended.

Originally launched as the 'RAAF 015-73' ? it was not until the vessel was transferred to the RAN's HMAS Rushcutter and HMAS Penguin bases in 1962 that the name HMAS TORTOISE was applied. She was also and given the pendant number Y292 which she still proudly displays today.
Other Names - {015-73}-'45 HMAS Tortoise-'62b68b71 {Y292}-'62b68b71b74 Tortoise-'74b88 {TV1}-b89 Ref - Australia NZ Boat Register

Both HMAS TORTOISE 'RAAF 015-73' ? and HMAS TURTLE 'RAAF 015-75' ? were sold on April 26, 1974, with the Tortoise converted for salvage work in the Philippines and along the Australian East Coast while the Turtle saw service as a small privately owned cargo vessel and operated in northern Australia.
Eight years on in 1982, it was reported that the Tortoise had been abandoned as a hulk in Sydney's Hen and Chicken Bay where she was vandalized and badly damaged.
On the 11th March 1988 Tortoise was purchased by Mr FJ Hewitt of Umina, NSW and was restored by cadets of the TS Hawkesbury with assistance from personnel from the HMAS Waterhen at Waverton, NSW.
Read more details in the 'The Navy' - Magazine of the Navy League of Australia Jan-March 1990 P.22
On the 1st of May 1988 The TS TORTOISE was loaned to the TS Hawkesbury as a training vessel for naval cadets, primarily operating on the Hawkesbury River and in Broken Bay and obviously wider afield in northern Australia as she required assistance from the HMAS Tarakan 11 following a breakdown on the 19th August 1992 enroute from Darwin to Cairns.
In August 1992, while participating in Operation
BEACHCOMBER, Tarakan was involved in two rescue missions. On 9 August she began searching for a 17-foot fibreglass boat which had capsized the previous evening with two crew members aboard. The search proved unsuccessful but the two men were later found near Dunk Island, one of whom, sadly, was deceased. On 19 August she came to the assistance of the Naval Reserve Cadet training vessel, TV Tortoise, which had broken down while en route from Darwin to Cairns. Tarakan took Tortoise in tow and arrived in Cairns on 22 August.

There is a good image of the Diving Tender Tortoise beached at Port Stephens in 1968 after a long scroll down.
After 1992 I have no further information and would be grateful of any details to complete the fascinating history of the HMAS TORTOISE.
Obviously the Tortoise was moved to Riley's Bay at some stage after 1992 so its possible the Protrude may well be still afloat somewhere having been renovated in 1991.
Any assistance in locating the Protrude is welcomed.

World Naval Ships Forum

Categories & Keywords
Category:Transportation
Subcategory:Ships
Subcategory Detail:
Keywords:015-73, 1945, 20.5.2015, Alexandria, Bay, Bill Fisher, Boat, Bomb Scow, Booker Bay, Brisbane Water, Cooks River, Cooks River Sydney, Dive Tender Vessel, Dive Training Ship, Ettalong, FJ Hewitt, HMAS Tortoise, HMAS Waterhen, Hen and Chicken Bay, Mr FJ Hewitt, NSW, Old Boat, RAAF, Rileys Bay, Royal Australian Air Force, Slazengers Australia Pty Ltd, Slazengers Pty Ltd Shipyards, Supply Craft, TS Hawkesbury, TS Tortoise, TV Tortoise, Tortoise, Training Vessel, Training Vessel, Vessel, WWII Bomb Scow, Y292

Y292 - HMAS TORTOISE (Built 1945), Seen Here Moored in Riley's Bay, Ettalong, NSW, 20.5.2015The Training Vessel TV Tortoise (TS Tortoise) from 'The Navy' - Magazine of the Navy League of Australia Jan-March 1990 P.22Y292 - HMAS TORTOISE (Built 1945), Seen Here Moored in Riley's Bay, Ettalong, NSW, 20.5.2015Y292 - HMAS TORTOISE (Built 1945), Seen Here Moored in Riley's Bay, Ettalong, NSW, 20.5.2015Y292 - HMAS TORTOISE (Built 1945), Seen Here Moored in Riley's Bay, Ettalong, NSW, 20.5.2015Y292 - HMAS TORTOISE (Built 1945), Seen Here Moored in Riley's Bay, Ettalong, NSW, 20.5.2015Y292 - HMAS TORTOISE (Built 1945), Seen Here Moored in Riley's Bay, Ettalong, NSW, 20.5.2015Y292 - HMAS TORTOISE (Built 1945), Seen Here Moored in Riley's Bay, Ettalong, NSW, 20.5.2015Y292 - HMAS TORTOISE (Built 1945), Seen Here Moored in Riley's Bay, Ettalong, NSW, 20.5.2015Y292 - HMAS TORTOISE (Built 1945), Seen Here Moored in Riley's Bay, Ettalong, NSW, 20.5.2015Y292 - HMAS TORTOISE (Built 1945), Seen Here Moored in Riley's Bay, Ettalong, NSW, 20.5.2015Y292 - HMAS TORTOISE (Built 1945), Seen Here Moored in Riley's Bay, Ettalong, NSW, 20.5.2015Y292 - HMAS TORTOISE (Built 1945), Seen Here Moored in Riley's Bay, Ettalong, NSW, 20.5.2015Y292 - HMAS TORTOISE (Built 1945), Seen Here Moored in Riley's Bay, Ettalong, NSW, 20.5.2015Y292 - HMAS TORTOISE (Built 1945), Seen Here Moored in Riley's Bay, Ettalong, NSW, 20.5.2015Y292 - HMAS TORTOISE (Built 1945), Seen Here Moored in Riley's Bay, Ettalong, NSW, 20.5.2015Y292 - HMAS TORTOISE (Built 1945), Seen Here Moored in Riley's Bay, Ettalong, NSW, 20.5.2015Y292 - HMAS TORTOISE (Built 1945), Seen Here Moored in Riley's Bay, Ettalong, NSW, 20.5.2015Y292 - HMAS TORTOISE (Built 1945), Seen Here Moored in Riley's Bay, Ettalong, NSW, 20.5.2015Y292 - HMAS TORTOISE (Built 1945), Seen Here Moored in Riley's Bay, Ettalong, NSW, 20.5.2015

Guestbook for HMAS TORTOISE Riley's Bay, Ettalong 20th May 2015
1.BRUCE McINTOSH(non-registered)
Currently I too am looking for information on this vessel as well. You will find the information that I have found, as I don't believe I can copy and paste in this entry, on the "Facebook" site, "Sons & Daughters of Sirius" Should you not be able to view this site, my email address is shown below, as I would be happy to supply what information I have collected, regarding this vessel.
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