The submarine sighted off the Bundaberg coastline which sent social media into a spin yesterday has been identified as HMAS Collins from the Royal Australian Navy.
Photos of the vessel were posted over Facebook as residents questioned why the submarine was in the region.
Peter Regan was on a joy flight along the coast with his friend, Pilot Steve Curtis, when he managed to capture an image of the submarine from overhead.
While out as a passenger during the flight with his friend, Peter said the vessel was the last thing he expected to see on an expedition looking for whales.
“I was looking out to sea checking for whales and whatever else I could spot and then I see this funny looking boat in the distance,” Peter said.
“It didn’t look like a normal boat and it wasn’t until we got closer to Burnett Heads that I realised it was a submarine.”
Peter said he was able to identify the submarine after recalling spotting a similar vessel years ago in Scotland.
“I realised it was a submarine by the shape of it, with such a long bow and stern and cabin in the middle,” he said.
The Department of Defence said the submarine was in the area conducting local operations, including training exercises.
“Australian submarine, HMAS Collins, was at sea conducting local operations and training exercises off the Queensland coast,” a department spokesperson said.
“Navy’s submarine’s regularly train in Australian waters, including off the Queensland coast.”
HMAS Collins is based in Fleet Base West in Western Australia and was the first of the six Collins Class Submarines to enter service in the Royal Australian Navy.
One of the first submarines to be totally designed by computers, HMAS Collins boasts a vast range of features.
These include a high-performance hull form, highly automated controls, low indiscretion rates and high shock resistance.