HMAS Waree

HMAS Waree (W128) was a tug boat operated by the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) during World War II. She operated as a tug boat for the Waratah Tug and Salvage Company before being requisitioned by the RAN in 1942, and operating in northern Australia and Papua.[1] She sank on 17 October 1946 off the New South Wales coast while sailing to Sydney from Thursday Island.

Name: Waree
Owner: Waratah Tug and Salvage Company
Laid down: 4 July 1938
Launched: 21 January 1939
Completed: 12 April 1939
Name: Waree
Commissioned: 18 September 1942
Fate: Sank on 17 October 1946
General characteristics
Type: Tug boat
Tonnage: 233 gross tons[1]
Length: 95 ft (29 m)[1]
Beam: 25 ft (7.6 m)[1]
Draught: 13.4 ft (4.1 m)[2]
Depth: 11.3 ft (3.4 m)[1]
Installed power: 860 hp (640 kW)
Propulsion: Single screw triple expansion steam engine
Speed: 11.5
Complement: 13
Armament: 2 × .303-inch Vickers machine gun

Construction and design

Laid down on 4 July 1938, Waree was built by the Cockatoo Docks & Engineering Company at Cockatoo Island Dockyard in Sydney and launched on 21 January 1939 for the Waratah Tug Company.[3] Construction was completed on 12 April 1939.[4] Displacing 233 gross tons, the ship was 95 ft (29 m) long and had a beam of 25 ft (7.6 m) and a draught of 13.4 ft (4.1 m).[1][2] Powered by a single screw triple expansion steam engine producing 860 hp (640 kW), the ship was capable of steaming 11.5 kn (21.3 km/h; 13.2 mph) and had a crew of 13, including two officers.[4] In RAN service, the ship was fitted with 2 × .303-inch Vickers machine guns for self-defence.[2]

Operational history and fate

Warree was requisitioned by the RAN on 4 September 1942 and after fitting out she was commissioned on 18 September 1942. She was sent to Port Moresby, Territory of Papua, where she served until 30 January 1945. She returned to Australia where she operated in the waters off North Queensland and the Northern Territory.[4]

While steaming to Sydney from Thursday Island with cargo on 17 October 1946, Waree began taking on water and was run aground near the entrance of the Clarence River at Yamba, New South Wales. She was declared a total loss.[5][6] All crew members were rescued after a long swim to shore. A court martial later found Waree's captain, Lieutenant Bill Boas, culpable for her loss.[4]


  1. "Lloyds Register" (PDF). Plimsoll ShipData. Retrieved 12 August 2010.
  2. Gillett & Graham 1977, p. 257.
  3. "New Tug Launched by Crane". The Sydney Morning Herald. 27 January 1939. p. 13. Retrieved 19 March 2012.
  4. "HMAS Waree". Royal Australian Navy. Retrieved 22 September 2014.
  5. "Tug Certain Wreck". The Courier-Mail. 19 October 1946. p. 3. Retrieved 19 March 2012.
  6. "Stranding of Tug. Court Martial Reprimands C.O." The West Australian. 25 November 1946. p. 8. Retrieved 19 March 2012.
  • Gillett, Ross; Graham, Colin (1977). Warships of Australia. Adelaide, South Australia: Rigby. ISBN 0-7270-0472-7.

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