A Queensland fisherman has been left ‘amazed’ after seeing a giant submarine just metres from his charter boat, as the Australian Defence Force begins its largest war-fighting exercise.

Key points:

  • Fisherman left amazed by close encounter with a submarine near Double Island Point
  • Australian submarine HMAS Collins conducting training operations off Queensland
  • Defence forces commence war games as part of Talisman Sabre 2021

Greg Pearce, owner of Double Island Point Fishing Charters, said he and his passengers were surprised to see the submarine travelling so close to shore off the state’s south east coast.

“We were just having a quick fish in close (to shore) and they just cruised past,” Mr Pearce said.

submarine DI 2

The fisherman were trying to catch snapper when the submarine passed them at Double Island Point.(

Supplied: Greg Pearce


“We could see the crew on board. They definitely had a look over to see if we were catching any fish.”

Mr Pearce said the submarine was cruising towards Rainbow Beach along the surface, giving them time to take photos and videos of the encounter.

“Everyone totally forgot about fishing for a little while, and everyone sent photos to their families, friends and kids,” Mr Pearce said.

Australian submarine conducting training

It appeared to be the same submarine spotted off the coast of Bargara last week, which the Australian Defence Force confirmed was HMAS Collins.

“HMAS Collins is at sea conducting local operations and training exercises off the Queensland coast,” an ADF spokesperson said.

submarine bronwyn 2

The HMAS Collins was seen off the Bargara coast last week.(

Supplied: Bronwyn Walker


Mr Pearce said he could not tell if it was an Australian submarine.

“It had no marks on it actually, which is something I haven’t seen before,” he said.

War games begin

Australia and the United States officially commence large-scale military exercises today as part of the Talisman Sabre 2021 war games.

Defence sources have told the ABC the Australian military is closely tracking a high-tech Chinese surveillance ship making its way towards Queensland and is expected to arrive in the Coral Sea on Friday.

HMAS Collins was the first of six Collins Class submarines to enter service in the Royal Australian Navy and is based at Fleet West Base in Western Australia.

Since it was commissioned in 1996, HMAS Collins has successfully conducted a range of activities throughout the region in support of Australian Defence Force exercises, operations and the government’s strategic directives.


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