Original Nine Airdate: 31/05/2011
One of the Hammersley crew gets into trouble over a poker game, another shows signs of a serious illness, and a third attracts some very unwanted attention.
On a routine patrol in the Arafura Sea, the navy ship comes across a disabled fishing vessel with one person on board, an appealing teenager called Leigh Scarpia (Brenton Thwaites), who says his boat has been struck by lightning.
Leigh’s home port is Winston, a small fishing village on the Gulf, but a sandbank makes the Hammersley towing job difficult, resulting in some unscheduled R and R on shore.
While Bird (Danielle Horvat) and Ryan (Dominic Deutscher) strike up a friendship with Leigh, Two Dads (Nikolai Nikolaeff) tracks down a poker game, an adventure that ends in disaster when he is mugged and tossed from a car into a paddock.
It is dark, but not for long, as Two Dads is woken by bright lights and whirling winds, an encounter which leads him to believe he has been buzzed by a UFO.
When he struggles back to Hammersley his story delights the crew, who tease him mercilessly about his close encounter, but Charge (John Batchelor) is intrigued, and persuades Two Dads to take him back to the area where he was dumped.
And there is a close encounter, with gun toting men on a bush air strip, loading a plane with boxes. When they realize they are being watched the order is given to kill.
Two Dads and Charge make their getaway, during which Charge alarms Two Dads when he clutches at his chest. Charge insists it is just a stitch.
The friendship between Ryan and Leigh ends abruptly after a very personal action by Leigh, but the two meet again, when for the second time the Hammersley crew spots the boy’s boat, this time finding Leigh unconscious from an apparent overdose.
Again Hammersley returns to Winston to get medical attention for Leigh, and when Two Dads and Charge play amateur detectives they recognize Leigh’s father, Mal Scarpia (Mirko Grillini) as one of the men from the air strip.
Swain (Matthew Holmes) also makes a discovery, recognizing the local policeman, Sgt Wild (Damian Garvey) as a disgraced copper from Brisbane.
On patrol, Hammersley has another encounter with Mal Scarpia, who is caught transporting heroin on his trawler, and when he and his men are apprehended CO Mike Flynn (Ian Stenlake) tells Charge, Ryan and Bird to take the vessel back to Winston to await the Feds.
Scarpia tells them that the head drug runner, Carl Buckland (Brett Swain), is on his way to collect the heroin, and warns there will be bloodshed if he doesn’t get his goods.
Mike and a team wait at the bush air strip for Buckland, but betrayal sees the drug boss change plans, arriving at the Winston wharf, and taking Bird and Ryan hostage as Charge leaps overboard to save his own life.
Then with a massive effort, Charge climbs back onto the trawler as Mike and his assault team arrive, helping them to overcome the drug runners…. before falling to the deck, clutching his chest.