HMAS Supply II held its first open day for the community on Wednesday, May 11, with many people heading out to get a rare opportunity to get on board the auxiliary replenishing naval vessel.
Commanding Officer of HMAS Supply II Captain Ben Hissink said there were 1050 visitors who came on board during the open day, and reported back that it was a great highlight for the crew.
Among those enjoying the special experience were pupils of Tanja Public School.
Captain Hissink - a former Tanja pupil - gave the children a special personal tour of the ship.
"He was so generous with his time," Tanja principal Danielle McGrath said.
Also impressed with the opportunity was Joanne Pascall, who had a great "surprise" after school excursion for her six-year-old nephew.
"The crew were amazing. The ship was phenomenal," Joanne said.
"We felt so privileged to be on-board and learn about the ship's motto - 'Strengthen the Shield' - and the mascot of the orca and the spiritual links to the Yuin people and the Port of Eden.
"We are lucky to live in such a beautiful place."
Megan and Dean Adams of Eden took their two children along to the ship's open day.
"It was an absolute wonderful experience and the sailors were so helpful and knowledgeable. We had a great afternoon," Ms Adams said.
Bobbie Wilkinson, who has been holidaying on the Sapphire Coast with her husband and friends from the Southern Riverina, also attended the open day.
"It was unbelievable for all of us, we spoke to as many of the naval sea persons as we could and we were astonished with the statistics all of them could quote," Ms Wilkinson said.
"We were very proud of them, they were all young, aged from their late teens to 30s and they were all so passionate about their role on the ship."
Some of the statistics that particularly impressed the group were just how much water and diesel the vessel could transfer to other ships at sea and the ship's desalination abilities on board.
"They told us how they transferred vehicles in the past, showed us how rescues are done with their rubber boat by putting it overboard and demonstrating how many people fit into it, the doctor showed us all his medical equipment, and they also showed us the anti-missile gun and how many rounds it does - 6000 rounds per minute," Ms Wilkinson said.
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