HMAS Moresby (1963)

HMAS Moresby, named for the explorer Captain John Moresby, was a hydrographic survey ship of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). Serving in the RAN from 1964 to 1998,[1] Moresby was then sold into civilian service. Renamed MV Patricia Anne Hotung, the ship was chartered by the International Organisation for Migration.

Namesake: Explorer Captain John Moresby
Builder: State Dockyard Newcastle
Laid down: May 1962
Launched: 7 September 1963
Commissioned: 6 March 1964
Decommissioned: 1998
Renamed: MV Patricia Anne Hotung (1999)
Identification: IMO number: 8952352
Motto: "With Science and Vision"
Honours and
Two inherited battle honours
Fate: Sold September 1999 as humanitarian ship
General characteristics
Type: Survey ship
Displacement: 2,340 tonnes
Length: 95.7 m (314 ft)
Beam: 12.8 m (42 ft)
Draught: 3.81 m (12.5 ft) mean
Propulsion: Diesel Electric, three English Electric diesel engines, 2 electric motors, 2 shafts
Speed: 19 knots (35 km/h; 22 mph)
Range: 10,000 nautical miles (19,000 km; 12,000 mi)
Boats & landing
craft carried:
3 × 34 ft (10 m) Survey Motor Boats
Capacity: 372 tons oil fuel
Complement: 146
Sensors and
processing systems:
TM 829 radar, Lambda position fixing system, Simrad SU2 sonar, echo sounders, magnetometer
Armament: 2 × 40 mm Bofors guns (removed 1973)
Aircraft carried:


Moresby was launched at the State Dockyard, Newcastle on 7 September 1963 by the wife of Rear Admiral Gatacre. She was commissioned into the RAN on 6 March 1964.[2] Moresby was the only ship of her class to be constructed.

Operational history

Throughout her career in the RAN, Moresby sailed over 1 million miles, and carried out surveys of Torres Strait, the D'Entrecasteaux Channel in Tasmania, Exmouth Gulf, Wilsons Promontory and the Gulf of Papua.[3]

Decommissioning and civilian service

In October 1999, Moresby was sold to Caravelle Investments Limited of Hong Kong for A$584,985.[4] She was renamed MV Patricia Anne Hotung,[5] and underwent a A$1 million refit at Maritime Engineers in Fremantle, Western Australia, enabling the 95-metre (312 ft) ship to carry 500 passengers and 2,021 tons of cargo.[6][5]

Patricia Anne Hotung was chartered by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), and transported approximately 10,000 refugees from the West Timor camps to East Timor between January 2000 and 24 July 2001. IOM Director General Brunson McKinley described the ship's role as "invaluable" and "a remarkable contribution to the international humanitarian effort to bring East Timorese refugees home to begin rebuilding their devastated country"[7]


  1. Wilson, Michael; Royal Australian Navy 21st Century Warships, Naval auxiliaries 1911 to 1999 including Defence Maritime Services, Profile No. 4 - Revised Edition , Topmill Pty Ltd, Marrickville. ISBN 978-1-876270-72-8, p. 37
  2. Straczek, John. The Royal Australian Navy: Ships, Aircraft and Shore Establishments, Navy Public Affairs, Sydney, 1996. ISBN 1-876043-78-4
  3. Bastock, John. Australia's ships of war, Angus and Robertson, Sydney, 1975. ISBN 0-207-12927-4
  4. Collings, Jon (19 June 2002), "Submission 18: Department of Defence" (PDF), in Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit (ed.), Review of the Accrual Budget Documentation (Report), Government of Australia, retrieved 20 January 2014
  5. "Moresby now a mercy vessel". Navy News. 24 January 2000. Archived from the original on 10 November 2012. Retrieved 20 January 2014.
  6. "Maritime Engineers Pty Ltd". Archived from the original on 25 January 2014. Retrieved 20 January 2014.
  7. "IOM Press Briefing Notes 24 Jul 2001: West Timor. Retrieved 15 January 2007".
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