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About the book
  • Published: 1 March 2012
  • ISBN: 9781742748177
  • Imprint: Random House Australia
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 408
Categories:

Breaking Ranks

The True Story Behind the HMAS Voyager Scandal




The remarkable story behind the cover up of the HMAS Voyager incident.

The remarkable story behind the cover up of the HMAS Voyager incident.

An extraordinary story with all the elements of an epic thriller: a dramatic naval disaster, tragic loss of life, exploits of bravery, court-room action, political intrigue, cover-ups and conspiracies– written by the whistleblower who has finally decided to put pen to paper. There's an old saying that justice delayed is justice denied. It's taken two Royal Commissions and more than forty years for the original whistleblower, Peter Cabban, to tell the story of The Voyager- Australia's greatest naval disaster.

Forty long years to tell the truth - one that the Australian navy and others in government would rather we not know. In 1963, Peter Cabban was second in command on the destroyer HMAS Voyager, under Captain Duncan Stevens. Cabban quite liked Stevens but their relationship was strained. The Captain was a notorious alcoholic - his nickname was "Drunken Duncan". Cabban found it difficult to believe that the navy would continue to entrust Stevens with active command. Cabban eventually left the navy and three months later, during night exercises on February 10, 1964, the Voyager inexplicably turned into the path of the aircraft carrier HMAS Melbourne and was sliced in two. Captain Stevens and two of his senior officers were instantly killed and 82 of her crew perished.

No-one can tell Peter's story like Peter can. Government and naval cover-ups, treachery and betrayals, scapegoats and miscarriages of justice, Cabban, like all reluctant whistleblowers, walked away with his life ruined. This reads like a Tom Clancy but tragically, it's not fiction.

  • Pub date: 1 March 2012
  • ISBN: 9781742748177
  • Imprint: Random House Australia
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 408

About the Authors

Peter Cabban

Born in Newcastle NSW in 1928, Peter joined the Royal Australian Navy as a Cadet Midshipman in 1942 and serv.ed in ships and establishments of the Royal Navy and Royal Australian Navy before specialising as a Fleet Air Arm pilot and maintenance test pilot. In 1962, following an appointment as Executive Officer of HMAS Sydney, he joined HMAS Voyager as second in command and resigned six weeks before the destroyer met its fate in collision with HMAS Melbourne in February 1964. In civilian life, Peter Cabban was employed as a management consultant, primarily in health care management, and formed a non-profit foundation, which he directed for twenty years. He retired from full-time employment in 2004. David Salter is an independent television producer and journalist. After a stint on The Bulletin magazine he joined the founding team of the pioneer ABC-TV current affairs program This Day Tonight. His television work includes three years at the BBC, the historical series This Fabulous Century, Geoffrey Robertson's Hypotheticals, Media Watch and a recent documentary on the Voyager disaster titled Unfit to Command. Salter has also run sport for the Seven Network, Channel Nine and the ABC and writes regularly on yachting and rugby.

David Salter

David Salter is a veteran television producer, journalist and author. He wrote for The Bulletin and Daily Telegraph, produced This Day Tonight, worked in US and UK television, has been Head of Sport for both Channel 7 and ABC-TV, wrote and directed the Logie-winning This Fabulous Century series, was Executive Producer of Media Watch and writes regularly on media matters for The Australian. He is the co-author of the best-selling Breaking Ranks, an eyewitness account of the HMAS Voyager disaster and its aftermath.


Praise for Breaking Ranks

“‘Peter Cabban reluctantly blew the whistle… and he can hear it echoing still.’ Good Weekend, SMH”


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