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Wednesday, 6 October 1971
Page: 1923


Mr Donald Cameron (GRIFFITH, QUEENSLAND) - I direct my question to the Minister for the Navy. I refer to the search for the crew of the 7- man vessel 'One and All' missing off the east coast of Australia, ls the Minister in a position to confirm or deny that the vessel sailed without seaworthy certification by the Queensland Department of Harbours and Marine? Secondly, will the Minister assure the House that the search for the survivors will not be abandoned while hope still exists?


Dr MACKAY - I think this question more properly would be addressed to the Acting Minister for Shipping and Transport.


Mr HUNT - I do not know the correct answer to the first part of the question but I will make it my business to find the answer for the honourable member. With respect to the search that has been going on for the ketch 'One and AH' I would like to inform him of the latest position. On Tuesday, 5th October, at 11.16 a.m. in a position about SO miles north of Middleton Reef an orange object about 2 feet to 3 feet in diameter was sighted by a searching Orion aircraft. The HMAS 'Otway' was immediately requested to proceed to the area, where she arrived at 8 o'clock last night. At 2.20 p.m. yesterday, a few miles from that sighting a hatchboard or box 8 feet by 6 feet and three 8 feet hatchboards and a yellow plastic bottle were sighted by the search aircraft scattered over an area of one mile.

The United States destroyers 'Edson' and 'Lang', which were en route to Brisbane and New Zealand joined 'Otway' in searching at 2 o'clock this morning. But with the exception of the sighting of one piece of broken timber by 'Otway', no contact with debris has been made. The 2 American destroyers were to break off the search and proceed on voyage at about 10.30 a.m. today. Two Royal Australian Air Force aircraft are searching an area of 2,000 square miles flying legs 3 miles apart, which will give a 90 per cent security clearance of the search area. The weather in the area is good, with light southerly winds and excellent visibility except for occasional passing showers. This debris has been sighted more than 50 miles from the position of probability and it must be emphasised that it cannot at this time be positively identified as coming from 'One and AH', but the search is still proceeding.







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