HMAS Gladstone makes new home at East Shores
HMAS Gladstone has finally been moved to a wet dock at East Shores, after being moored in the Gladstone Harbour since 2007.
But residents eager to climb aboard will have to wait until at least Easter 2015.
Gladstone Maritime Museum president Lindsay Wassell watched on from a tinnie in the marina as the Fremantle class patrol boat was moved on Monday.
"I think everybody knows - she's the other woman in my life," he said.
"The Gladstone Ports Corporation has done a brilliant job and without them we wouldn't be able to have her there.
"Lots of people have put into this. It's been a big job and we've got some contractors on board who have done some wonderful stuff for us today," he said.
Gladstone Maritime Museum volunteer and HMAS Gladstone co-ordinator Errol Page has waited for this day since the vessel was first moored in Gladstone in 2007.
"There's a lot of work to be done before it's opened to the public," he said.
"This is the main thing I worried about though, I thought she would be sitting on the bottom of the marina soon."
From 6am employees from WALZ, ALE, Gladstone Ports Corporation and Realfs Diving and Salvage began work to move the 42m long ship.
It involved two tug boats and smaller support vessels.
A GPC spokesperson said the corporation was pleased it was successfully relocated.
"The (East Shores) precinct has been designed to reflect Gladstone's history and to generate local pride for the community, so to be able to incorporate such a significant part of Gladstone's history into the precinct is fantastic."
Among the locals checking out the newest arrival to East Shores was resident of 12 years Jason Dietzsch.
"I think it's terrific to see. We've got this beautiful parkland and water, for an industrial city this is really nice.
"It'll be good when the Maritime Museum is here (at East Shores) ... it's certainly brought this part of the city back to life."
Getting HMAS Gladstone shipshape is a big task
MOVING HMAS Gladstone to its new home is the first of many steps needed before residents are able to explore on board.
WALZ project manager Robert Ponce De Leon said the task involved 18 people.
For the past month preparations have been made for the task, including meetings and paperwork. The move involved two tug boats and additional support boats and hooking the ship on to winches to bring it under their control.
"A lot of hard work over the past month has gone on," he said.
Walz Constructions, ALE Heavy Lift, Realf Diving and Fodico Marine Group were all involved in the success of the operation.
The next step is to install two cradles underneath the vessel.
Safety stands must be put on the keel of the vessel prior to this.
Gladstone Maritime Museum president Lindsay Wassell said HMAS Gladstone required a much-needed facelift too.
The work will include sandblasting and painting the ship.
"I can see it now, people could be having wedding photos on board ... when she's all scrubbed up, she'll look a million bucks," he said.
The Gladstone Maritime Museum is asking for interested residents to volunteer their time and "elbow grease" to help get the job done.
Lights and additional access will also be placed in the ship.