I have read that it was purchased in 1978 by a Sydney company and taken
to Pittwater on the northern side of Sydney for conversion to a fishing
vessel (presumably as a charter vessel to take people out fishing). The
Valiant was reported to have failed to pass the Maritime Services
Board (now NSW Maritime) survey.
The Valiant was apparently commissioned in 1945 by the
Ministery of Munitions. The tug was 22.5 metres long, 5.4 metres
wide and displaced 72 tons. A sistership, the Fury, was
built at the same time. The Valiant was powered by a
Crosley HR4 diesel engine giving a top speed of only 8 knots.
After the end of World War II, ownership of the Valiant
passed to the Melbourne Harbour Trust Commissioners. It appears
that the ship was modified at this time, with water tanks added,
the foredeck lowered and equipment added to suit her new role as
a fireboat. It appears to have operated out of Melbourne. I do
not know much more about its history but in 1975 it was still
registered to the Commissioners.
|The tug Vigorous, said to be identical to
but it appears to me to be larger and different
Photo provided by Tom Binns
|A diagram of the Valiant
By unknown person - dated about 1989
Index to diagram above right
- Sand Level
- Remainder of port bulwarks
- Engine room entrances
- Toilet entrance
- Galley entrance
- Remainder of forward bulwarks
- Anchor winch
- Steering pedestal
- Engine room skylights
- Access hole cut in deck
- Towing hook
- Towing beam
- Aft accommodation entrance
- Steering compartment access
Another report, says that the vessel was sold in 1980 to David
Jackson and taken to Sydney. On the way, there was a fire on board. On
arriving in Pittwater, the northern boundary of Sydney, there was work
done in an attempt to get her in a condition to make the vessel usuable.
However, this was beyond Mr Jackson's abilities and it was decided to
strip the vessel.
Yet one more report says that in 1981 after a complicated series of
events while under tow to be scuttled, the tow ropes broke and the
Valiant sank approximately one kilometre east of Barrenjoey Head.
However, a fourth reports says it sank in 1982 "...about 0.5 km off Palm
Beach.....while being towed to its burial at sea.....was a 25m former
firefloat......". Yet another report says that when an explosive device
was used to remove the prop, the ship started coming apart at the seams.
The ship was quickly towed out to sea to be scuttled in deep water but
she sank well before reaching the target area. I am not sure what year
this was, but I expect that it was 1981.