Naval ship visits Ballina
The HMAS Brunei, one of six Landing Craft Heavy (LCH) in the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), visited Ballina for the fourth time and was opened for public viewing last week.
One of the oldest commissioned vessels in the RAN, the Brunei proved popular with Ballina residents and visitors alike.
The visit was organised by the Ballina sub-section of the Naval Association of Australia, which has many members in the region, some of which joined the crew for a special reunion dinner at the weekend.
The ship, which made its way down the east coast from Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, is captained by Lieutenant Scott Dixon and has 21 crew members, including five trainees.
The 45-metre long, 10-metre wide ship is specifically used to trans-ship cargo and supplies from ships lying offshore and has been used as a survey ship in PNG for disaster relief operations and peace monitoring activities in the Solomons.
Lieutenant Dixon said he and his crew always felt welcome in Ballina where many retired sailors lived.