- First Flight 23/05/63.
- Ditched on take off from HMAS Melbourne 05/05/67 with SBLT (P) Jeff Dalgleish, SBLT (O) Mick Bayliss and LACM Terry Burke due to engine failure. Aircraft recovered.
- 25 June 1975 with LEUT Costa (P) and crew experienced an engine failure at 6000ft and made an emergency landing at Durras Beach NSW.
- Withdrawn 31/12/89.
- To Fleet Air Arm Museum, Nowra 1991.
- Currently on display at the Vietnam Veterans Museum, Newhaven, Phillip Island.
Above and left. Two shots of 831’s ditching following an engine failure on take off from HMAS Melbourne on 05 May 1967. The aircraft was airborne SAR for Sea Venom 816 Squadron B Flight Launch (Venom Crew Leut (P) Barry Daly + (O) Possibly Jim Firth or David Cronin). Immediately after the Venom had launched the Wessex started to move aft for landing on, but abeam the landing spot it suffered a power loss and ditched approx 150 metres off the port aft quarter of Melbourne – with all the SAR Gear! Apparently FLYCO made a Flight Deck PA about the time it was entering the water to “Launch the SAR Helicopter” only to be advised that it was the SAR helicopter.
Wessex 831 recovery mission on Mathew Island on 7 April 1975. The wreckage of a light aircraft was spotted by a Tracker enroute to Fiji. It was initially assumed to be a Search and Rescue mission but it was subsequently discovered that the aircraft had made a forced landing there some eighteen months previously.
It was proposed to lift the aircraft from the island and recover it aboard HMAS Melbourne. The owner (Mr Martinet) was contacted and made his way to the island aboard a French minesweeper, from which he was winched by a Wessex and transferred to MELBOURNE. It was discovered the aircraft was in very poor condition so it was agreed that only the engine would be salvaged, as shown in the photograph below. The remaining wreckage was destroyed to prevent any further SAR alerts. Both the engine and Mr Martinet were transported to Sydney. (Image: Jeff Chartier collection)
Second Engine Failure – Durras, near Nowra 1975