- Newspaper, The West Australian
- Ship histories and stories, WWII operations
- None noted.
- RAN Ships
- HMAS Nepal, HMAS Nizam
- June 1986 edition of the Naval Historical Review (all rights reserved)
Just before the Nepal went on its crazy roll, Cook R.W. Andrews, appeared on deck to throw a can of ‘gash’ over the side. The cook was hurled into the sea, along with a Carley float and a lifebuoy.
The ship put about but the captain held little hope of recovering Andrews. A sharp- eyed lookout spotted the raft, however, and a few minutes later the crew cheered when they sighted ‘cookie’ swimming strongly towards it.
The captain could not see the swimmer, according to the authors, so he was guided by the lookout man who yelled: ‘See that bloody albatross? He’s right over him now.’
Nepal, still rolling, was manoeuvred close to the cook, who was hauled aboard in a scrambling net and rushed to the sick bay where he lost consciousness. The ship’s doctor reported to the bridge that ‘cookie’ had a compound fracture of the leg and other injuries, the most serious of which was a mystifying puncture-like wound in the shoulder.
When the cook recovered consciousness he was asked by the doctor to account for the shoulder wound.
‘It was the (expletive) albatross. The bird bit me and I bit the bird.’
Cook R.W. Andrews became the Royal Australian Navy’s only known albatross victim of the World War.