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FREAK ARMY VESSEL NOW CORAL BARGE

£VANS, DEAKIN'S conversion of the motor vessel Crusader to a coral hopper barge has made the strangest vessel on the Australian waterfront even

stranqer.

A third of her bottom 'can now be opened up by 44 hydraulic doors— to let coral out and the river in— but she will stay afloat. / The. Crusader came to Bris bane last September with six propellers, six rudders, six main and six auxiliary engines. Built by the Melbourne Harbour Trust in 1945, she was designed to transport army equipment to the islands. Reason for her unusual de sign—with a flat bottom and a 50-foot beam — was to enable her to run up on to beaches at high tide, unload her cargo, and float off on the next tide. Never Needed The Crusader, however, was handed over to the Army on the day Japan surrendered, and she was never needed for her de signed purpose. She was later bought by the Queensland Ce ment and Lime Co., Ltd., Darra. through Navy Disposals. In a few months Evans, Dea kin and Co., Ltd., have re modelled her with 250 tons of new steel. As a hopper barge, she will carry 1800 yards of coral on each trip from Mud Island to the Darra cement works, 35 miles away. Instead of discharging the :oral by the grab method, but tons will be pressed a^d the 4* door bottom of the ship will re lease the coral to the river bed. where it will be removed later by grab.

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