In 1949 RFA Wave Governor, while on passage in the Timor Sea, was passing to the south-eastward of Cartier Islet when they discovered a previously unreported bank and thus signalled its location to the Royal Australian Navy.
The bank was promulgated in the Australian Notice to Mariners No 352 of 1949.
Between May and August 1958 the Royal Australian Navy Surveying Service conducted a survey in the Timor Sea to prove safe deep draught shipping routes in the vicinity of Sahul Bank. It was known from various past reports that the Timor Sea in that vicinity contained many banks and shoals, and the existence of other unknown banks and shoals was to be expected.
The Sahul Bank had been known to the Portuguese since about 1540
Image courtesy of the Australian Hydrographic Service – RAN
The survey was carried out by Task Element 218.104.22.168 which consisted of the following ships – HMAS’s Swan, Warrego, Fremantle and Cootamundra.
The Task Group checked the presence of the Bank discovered by RFA Wave Governor and found that it correctly disclosed a definite and separate bank, in the reported position, and with a least depth of 18 fathoms.
This Bank was named Wave Governor Bank