SOS - Save Our Sub!

News | Created 5 Dec 2019

HMAS Ovens, an Oberon class submarine, located outside the WA Maritime Museum

The Foundation of the WA Museum is seeking your support to repair and repaint the iconic submarine HMAS Ovens.

The significance of HMAS Ovens

Ovens is an Oberon class submarine which served for over 30 years.

Named after the Irish Australian Explorer John Ovens (1788-1825), Ovens is not only one of Fremantle’s best known landmarks, it is a critical item in the State’s museum collections and a significant part of Australia’s naval history.

After her decommissioning in 1995, she was gifted to the Western Australian Museum and docked on the historic shipway beside the WA Maritime Museum.

She has become a favourite visitor attraction in Fremantle, with daily tours conducted by a team of passionate volunteers, most of whom are retired submariners.

Why Ovens needs your help

Over the past 25 years, wear and tear has taken its toll on Ovens. She is located in a harsh marine environment where strong winds, salty spray and bright sunlight have conspired to badly damage her paintwork and cause corrosion to the metal below.

She desperately needs paint removed, corrosion treatment and a new coat of paint. This process will involve ensuring that there is no contamination of the river or ocean during the process.

Work of this scale, and involving the quite reasonable environmental safeguards, is not cheap!

The works will include:

  • Full encapsulation and containment scaffolding
  • Stripping of existing paintwork and waste removal
  • Restoration of the hull, including surface preparation
  • Repainting of the submarine surface

How can you help?

If you would like to be part of this important initiative to preserve WA’s rich maritime history, please pledge your support on the Foundation website at:

Assistance can be provided in several ways, you could:

  • Provide a personal donation
  • Provide a corporate donation or through sponsorship
  • Make a bequest to the ongoing maintenance of the submarine
  • Help to promote the campaign through your networks
  • Provide in-kind support as a supplier or contractor

Contact Us

For further information, please do not hesitate to contact The Foundation team:

T: (08) 6552 7474