Original Nine Airdate: 12/07/2011
HMAS Hammersley is in the Torres Strait in pursuit of a Suspected Illegal Entry Vessel (SIEV).
But when the seemingly abandoned boat is boarded, Swain (Matthew Holmes) and XO Kate McGregor (Lisa McCune) find two men below decks, suffering from hideous radiation burns.
And a ticking Geiger counter indicates the presence of caesium – an element that creates deadly radioactivity.
Back on Hammersley, as Swain,/a> tries to make the dying men comfortable, they admit they are people smugglers, and have transferred two men carrying heavy cases onto another vessel.
As the corpses are brought to home port there are two surprise arrivals – SAS operative Jim Roth (Ditch Davey) with romance on his mind and ASIO’s Madelaine Cruise (Renai Caruso), with whom Dutchy has had a tumultuous relationship.
As Jim Roth shares a tender moment with XO Kate McGregor, Madelaine tells Mike (Ian Stenlake) that the terrorist cell she has been pursuing has been smuggling caesium into Australia, with a dangerous scenario in mind.
Both Cruise and Roth are on Hammersley when it is decided to track the vessel to which the two men transferred, and all on board are issued with PRD’s (personal radiation devices).
When a suspected FFV (foreign fishing vessel) fires on the Navy ship, an angry gun battle follows, and when the boat’s crew is overcome, a chilling discovery is made.
The FFV is carrying semtex, and Mike Flynn instantly realizes that combined with caesium the result would be a “dirty bomb” – a radioactive explosive.
After intelligence from the seized vessel is analyzed by RO (Kristian Schmid) a raid is made up mangrove estuary, where, in a ramshackle fishing hut, Jim and Kate find a badly burned man, pointing a pistol at them.
But as the pair enter the room, he turns the gun on himself – and fires.
A search of the hut turns up details of winds and tidal times in Sydney Harbor, and of Navy headquarters, leading Kate to believe the area is the target of a bomb.
When yet another FFV is found to be carrying caesium it is believed the deadly bomb plot has been foiled, until Maxine White (Tammy Macintosh) calls from NAVCOM to tell Mike that only half the stolen semtex has been accounted for. There is a chance a bomb has already been made!
But after interrogating the skipper of the FFV Madelaine believes there is not another bomb, so Hammersley steams back to home port, where Kate tries on wedding gowns – and Dutchy brings Mike up to date on some personal matters that will affect his future.
Having done some amateur detective work Dutchy soon realizes there is a traitor on board, and armed with fresh intelligence that indicates the dirty bomb is destined for a target nearby, the Hammersley crew tracks a cruiser and finds the device on board.
Two of the military men remain on the boat, one attempting to disarm the bomb, the other to steer it away from land, but the engine cuts out, and although the radioactive material is tossed overboard, time runs out – and the boat explodes in a ball of flame.
Later, at a moving ceremony, the men who paid the ultimate price are awarded the highest Australian bravery award, the Cross of Valour,