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Hong Kong Harbor Christmas time 1963 - can anyone confirm this incident from Ross Martin on June 25, 2019 at 13:00:46

Email: Ross Martin

My name is Ross Martin, I am 79 years old and a former member of the Royal Australian Navy, 1958 to 1967. At the request of my family I am writing my life story as time takes over health, etc... and I depart this world. During the Christmas period 1963 and into 1964, I was a crew member of H.M.A.S. Vendetta, we were in Hong Kong, as was USS IWO JIMA, LPH2 which was anchored out in the harbor. I am not sure of exact date but a call went out from IWO JIMA, requesting any Naval vessel with a Diving team aboard could they please assist them. A person was seen to enter the water from a local sampan type boat in the vicinity of IWO JIMA and it was feared mines may have been planted on the vessel. They immediately put a small boat in the water with armed crew which did continuous circuits of the ship for the duration of its stay. Our ship responded to the call, our dive team including me were alongside and in the water within 40 minutes. Visibility underwater was very good, after an hour or so it was established there were no mines attached to the hull or propeller shafts or blades. It was also determined from comments of divers because of the speed of the current a person entering the water would be well past the ship before they had time to plant a mine on the hull. The dive was difficult because of the speed of the current, the only way to do a good search was to have a safety line around the waist let out about a foot at a time by an attendant in the dive boat, also straddling the propeller shafts, from memory I think there were four, made it easier to have a good look. Years later, with my family, we were watching the recovery of the space craft on tv, which Iwo Jima was involved in. I told them of the time we dived on that ship looking for mines back in 1963. My reason for this email is maybe to receive confirmation of the incident happening, would look good in my story. No doubt there were thank yous from your Captain to ours but to us on the ground not a word. Maybe there was secrecy involved because we were told it was on the way to Vietnam. Maybe someone in your group can verify this incident and/or forward this on to the appropriate Department in the Navy. Thanking you in anticipation and cheers to all at your reunion in September. Ross Martin


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