Wednesday, 4 July 2012

SALVAGE: THE SOLOMON ISLANDS, VANUATU

Wally Gibbins was age 13 when the war was happening in The Solomon Islands. 

"Mister Wally" (originally Bali Hai)

At Sawtell NSW - shipping salvage gear to The Solomon Islands.
Pictured: Malcolm McLeod (nephew), John Sumner and Wally Gibbins



Bonegi II wreck - about 10 miles from Honiara, max depth 95 feet.

Bonegi  II  wreck near Honiara

Ruinui wreck varies in depth 25 ft to 150 feet
Bonegi shallow water
Wally was married, briefly.
Mal McLat HMAS Penguin's naval hospital when he had 'the bends' .
(Mal  married one of the nurses).

A RUN OF BAD LUCK.
Wal's nephew and salvage diver, Malcolm McLeod lived with Wally and his mother. Later the house was lost financially when a deal involving buying a professional fishing boat and license went sour. Then Mal had a fatal accident with a rifle in his bedroom.  It was not a good time for Wally and his mother.





Story published in People magazine covers an incident while working with  Ben Cropp.
Invited to host a dive trip, Captain Wally Muller owner of the charter boat Coralita called on the services of' Wally' to host diving expeditions when the ship scheduled trips to The Solomon Islands.  They encountered a live volcano erupting at sea with chunks of lava flying overhead and to the other side of the vessel.

Emergency  2nd wheel from a US oil supply vessel, WW2 , Solomon Islands




Brass plaques and port holes from various WW2 shipwrecks in The Solomon Islands brought to Australia by Wal but most or all have since disappeared. Here they were displayed at his Toormina shipwreck and sea shell museum, until the late 1980s.


Aedes egypti mozzie

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"Skindiving in Australia" magazine Volume 6 Number 1. (circa 1977)






Note:  Better quality pictures will replace these if and when the originals turn up. Any suggestions welcome.

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