Kate McGregor (character)

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Kate McGregor
Sea Patrol character
SP Kate.jpg
First appearance Welcome Aboard
Portrayed by Lisa McCune
Nickname(s) XO, X, Ma'am
Gender Female
Family Mother, father, brother (lied to a sailor when he thought that his brother was dead)
Significant other(s) Mike Flynn (Husband)
Rick Gallagher (boyfriend, 2007 (season 1)
Jim Roth (boyfriend, 2008, 2011)
Rank Lieutenant
Position Executive Officer

Lieutenant Kate McGregor is a fictional TV character from the show Sea Patrol. She is portrayed by Lisa McCune.


Lieutenant Kate McGregor, the Executive Officer (XO) of HMAS Hammersley, is cool, beautiful, reserved, always aiming for a perfect 10 in everything she does. She was nicknamed "Princess Perfect" at ADFA, and won the Sword for best Navy cadet in her final year. She is a woman of secrets, a woman on the run from her own past, a woman who has reinvented herself and never wants to go back to where she came from.

Kate comes to the cramped life aboard Hammersley from the relative comfort of a big ship, and is having to learn a whole new set of skills. As XO on a Patrol Boat she will lead boarding parties onto stinking fishing boats, work closely with senior sailors like the Coxswain and Buffer, and share a cabin with the Navigation Officer, Lieutenant Nikki Caetano, who seems to think she's the CO's favourite daughter and that Kate is her new and wicked stepmother. Upon boarding she found that her new CO is an old flame of hers.[1]

Kate is the ship's Executive Officer (XO), which means she is second in command of HMAS Hammersley. She is also the Boarding Officer (BO), which means she is in charge of the boarding party. Later in the series, when Nikki Caetano, the navigation officer aboard transfers to another ship, Kate also fulfills her role.

Personal life[edit]

At ADFA (Australian Defence Force Academy) while doing a course to further her career in the RAN, she formed a brief relationship with (now Commander) Mike Flynn. He broke it off for unknown reasons, and eventually she ended up serving as his executive officer on HMAS Hammersley.

She seems to be quite compassionate, especially regarding the complicated secret relationship between crew members Lt. Nikki "Nav" Caetano and Leading Seaman Josh "ET" Holiday.

In her second year aboard Hammersley Kate is attracted to SAS Captain Jim Roth. Three years later their paths cross again and he proposes, but is killed.

It is in the final moments of Sea Patrol's last episode that Kate later confesses her love for Mike. They later marry and have at least one child together.

Season One[edit]

Kate is posted to the Fremantle Class HMAS Hammersley against her will, intending to do the mandatory six-month stint on the patrol boat before running back to her beloved frigates. At the beginning of her posting she is cold and distant, and seems to rub the crew the wrong way, and the crew in turn take pleasure in her mistakes. In the first episode 'Welcome Aboard', she allows chief engineer Andy "Charge" Thorpe to take down one of the engines without first checking with the CO. When the Hammersley needs to render assistance in a medical emergency, it is slowed by the semi-completed engine. The crew eventually get to Bright Island, but their patient Dr Lisa Holmes, a marine biologist, dies before they reach port.

In the second episode 'What Lies Beneath', the crew accidentally uncover a drug-smuggling ring when Kate strays off course. When questioning one of the smugglers, he refuses to tell her anything, saying that 'nice middle-class chicks like you are born with a silver spoon in your mouth'. Kate smirks for a moment, before telling the smugglers about her brother who died of a drug overdose after she refused to give him money. At the end of the episode, after getting the information they need, Mike offers condolences for her brother, but she tells him she has no idea what he's talking about.

In episode three 'Ghosts of Things Past', Kate becomes determined to prove that a man they pulled out of the ocean killed his best friend.

In episode five, 'Under the Radar', Kate goes undercover with Billy "Spider" Webb, Josh "ET" Holiday and Pete "Buffer" Tomaszewski as illegal fisherman to capture a group of dangerous eco-militants. At the end of the episode, Mike asks her about her black-eye, and she responds 'it hurt a lot when it happened, but now I don't feel a thing', a possible parallel to her breakup with Mike.

In episode six 'Precious Cargo', Kate flirts with the captain of a container ship, Rick Gallagher.

In episode seven, 'Rescue Me', Kate and Nikki bond over their dislike for a female sailor crying wolf to gain publicity for her website.

In episode eight 'Through the Storm', Kate and Gallagher flirt and kiss before being interrupted by Kate's phone. She also punishes Spider for impersonating her in a drunken video, making him do all sorts of disgusting tasks before finally apologising and putting him up for a commendation after he risked his life to save a child.

In episode nine 'Under the Hammer', Mike is determined to search the Pacific Mariner, despite Kate's protests. They begin to search the ship on a 'training exercise' and find ventilation shafts in a shipping container indicating someone was hiding in there, but before they can search it ET notices smoke coming from Hammersley. They all rush back to investigate and find that the fire was a small one and no one was hurt.

In episode thirteen, 'Cometh the Hour', the crew chase down Rick Gallagher before he has a chance to sell poisoned water bottles. They blow up the Pacific Mariner, Gallagher's ship, but are unable to locate Gallagher. While Kate and Mike are alone on the bridge, Gallagher barges into the bridge with Ursula Morell, a witness and Mike's girlfriend, held at gunpoint. He demands to be driven over the line to territorial waters where he cannot be arrested, but Mike refuses. Mike lunges at Gallagher and Kate is shot in the gunbattle that ensues. While she is getting into the ambulance she tells Mike to bring milk chocolate, not dark to the hospital. The bullet just grazes her, but her arm is confined to a sling for several weeks afterwards.

On the decommissioning of the Hammersley, Mike hands her a letter of recommendation for a frigate posting, but she refuses, saying she'd much rather stay on with the rest of the crew on the new, Armidale Class Hammersley.

Season Two[edit]

Throughout the second season, Kate struggles with guilt and anger after Chief Petty Officer Andrew "Charge" Thorpe is stabbed on a boarding and almost killed, leaving her feeling responsible and blaming herself.

In the third episode 'Takedown', both she and the Navigator Nikki Caetano are taken hostage by insurgents and held in austere.[where?] Both are eventually rescued and the criminals are caught.

In the fourth episode 'Heaven Born Captains' Kate goes on an internet date with a man named Jim Roth, telling him she works in Human Resources while he tells her he is an accountant. When he keeps getting phone calls during the date she leaves, and is shocked to find out the next day that he is a member of the SAS group they are transporting to the fictional Samaru Islands. The two eventually share a dance at a party while Mike watches on jealously.

In the fifth episode 'Giving up the Dead', Kate is drugged while escorting a prawn trawler back to port. Leading Seaman Robert "RO" Dixon manages to save them both from being burnt alive and in her confused state Kate asks Mike why he left her.

In the seventh episode 'Hidden Agendas', Kate and Jim attempt a normal date on temporary shore leave but soon find out that the deserted island they are staying on is a base for local insurgents. They manage to escape whilst also rescuing a kidnapped young boy.

In the ninth episode 'Shadow Line', Kate is shot by the same man who stabbed Charge. The Kevlar plating she was wearing manages to stop the bullet but she is temporarily knocked out face down in a creek. After the realisation sinks in that she could have died she becomes quite upset, but Charge's words of reason pull her through.

In episode ten 'Rules of Engagement', she finds it hard to keep the truth about loving the captain of her ship after he and Jim are injured in an accident. Despite Jim being her boyfriend, it is Mike she is truly worried about and she and Jim eventually break up. With Mike being injured, she is put in command of the ship until they return to port.

In episodes twelve 'Friends close, enemies closer' and episode thirteen 'Soldiers of Fortune', the truth about Samaru and its mysteries are revealed, and the Hammersley crew are praised for their efforts.

Season Three[edit]

Romantic tension grows between Mike and Kate throughout season three.

In the first episode 'Catch and Release', the whole crew is distraught to lose one of their own. This grief strengthens Mike and Kate's bond, both offering support for the other.

In episode three 'China Dolls', Kate finds herself getting attached to a baby born on board the ship, his mother dying during childbirth. With technical help from Robert (RO), Kate attempts to trace the baby's aunt, who is already in Australia.

In episode four 'Guns', the Hammersley crew rescue an Ex-Navy Sailor in a storm. When he reveals to Mike that he knows about his and Kate's relationship at Watson's Bay, Mike and Kate are forced to deal with their feelings.

In episode eight 'Red Sky Morning', Kate leads a steaming party along with Buffer, 2Dads and Cliff Bailey. After Cliff, Buffer and 2Dads all go missing, Kate finds herself alone and at the mercy of Nathan Talbot, a man the crew on Hammersley now know to be an escaped psychopathic prisoner with five random murders already on his record.

In episode nine 'Pearls Before Swine', Kate is furious to hear that 2Dads has started a rumour that she and the ship's Buffer are in an illicit relationship, but not as furious as she is when she finds out Mike believes the rumour.

In episode thirteen 'Red Reef', Kate comes face-to-face with ET's murderers and finds herself in a fight for her life with one of them after the pumping station they are in bursts into fire, leaving only one to survive – in the arms of her C.O.

Season Four[edit]

After Mike leaves Hammersley at the start of the fourth series, Kate is keen to pursue a relationship with Mike. The pair sleep together and Kate is looking forward to continuing the relationship but her plans are cut short when he returns as Hammersley's CO at the end of the second episode 'Crocodile Tears'.

In the fourth episode 'Ransom', Kate asks Mike whether he thinks about having children after talking to one earlier that day. He says he hasn't, but the pair's conversation is cut short as the mother of the girl Kate was talking to has been kidnapped. While exchanging a ransom on behalf of the father, the situation goes wrong and Kate is also taken hostage. Kate and Mia, the girl, escape by climbing out a window of the hut they were held in and are able to return to the Hammersley.

Kate also finds herself frustrated at the fact that the Hammersley's new buffer, Dylan Mulholland (Dutchy) (Conrad Coleby) gets along fine with everyone on the ship except for her. His apparent dislike for her is a constant source of confusion for her, and it isn't until the pair are held captive by a rogue policeman (episode nine 'Dutch Courage') that he admits he was scared he would fail to protect her and she would be injured or worse, like his boarding officer in the Gulf War.

In episode ten, 'Rawhide', Kate becomes fed up with Mike and his constant avoidance of commitment with her, and tells him it's 'make or break' time, but as no replacement CO for Hammersley can be found, he has to remain on the ship.

In episode fourteen 'Live Catch', Kate is accidentally sprayed in the face with cyanide while on a steaming party led by Bomber (Kirsty Lee Allan) and she is seriously injured. The steaming party is then taken over by another boat and Bomber and 2Dads are limited in what they can do to help her. They are moved ships and the captain on the mothership uses amyl nitrate as an antidote. She is almost sexually assaulted by another fisherman but is saved just in time by Bomber. The group is eventually rescued.

In episode sixteen 'In Too Deep', Kate is again placed in command of Hammersley after Mike is assumed dead. She struggles with grief but conceals it in an attempt to be the rock for the crew. When she comes face-to-face with Mike's killer, she struggles with her hatred and would have killed him, had Swain not talked her down. While trying to compose herself before heading back upstairs, she hears a noise and investigates to find a bound and gagged, but very much alive, Mike. Overcome with joy, she kisses him, something which was witnessed by Dutchy.

Season Five[edit]

At the start of season five Kate is again looking forward to pursuing her relationship with Mike. Commander Maxine White makes it clear that she wants Mike posted back to a shore-posting at NAVCOM, and with Kate being recommended for promotion, it seems to be smooth sailing. With the likelihood she will get finally get her own command and her man, she is more relaxed and laid-back.

On shore leave in a foreign town, members of the Hammersley crew are near a bar when it is blown up by a suicide bomber, rattling them all. Mike tells her that he was worried when he couldn't get her on the phone after he heard about the bombing, and that he had thought she had died. She silences him by squeezing his hand, another form of their attraction witnessed by Dutchy. He says nothing to her about it though.

Later on in the first episode, while investigating the bombing of the 'Luga Bar', Kate runs into her former flame, SAS Captain Roth. Returning to Hammersley as part of a covert mission, old feelings emerge and a potential love triangle is reignited when he makes it clear he's not over her.

In episode 2 'An Eye For An Eye', Kate is forced to shoot an assailant in self-defense. When she learns the assailant was a twenty-year-old girl, she becomes stricken with guilt. To make matters worse, the brother of the girl swears vengeance and escapes from police custody. He later attempts to run her and Bird over in a carpark, and is then seen hiding in her apartment. Dutchy chases him away, but he later sends his younger brother to attack her on the ship using 2Dads' ID. When he is unable to seek his revenge on Kate, his brother decides to prove his worth by taking Bird hostage, planning to kill her to get at Kate. She manages to get there in time to save Bird and at the end of the episode comes to accept that she had no choice but to shoot the woman.

At the end of episode 2, Mike informs her quite bluntly that her name is not on the promotion list, meaning that once again their relationship is put on hold, as is the trip to Tahiti that she and Mike had planned.

In episode 3 'Crimes of Passion' she calls an end to the stop-and-go relationship she has with Mike after learning that he went to fleet command and threatened to resign if they didn't promote Kate. Maxine White warns Kate off, telling her that they both know the Navy is Mike's life and making Kate believe that she will always come second.

In episode 4 'Spoils of War', Mike is clueless about the reasons Kate ended their relationship and continually fishes for information, however she doesn't tell him why. Dutchy asks her as well, but she quickly dismisses it, telling him that it's 'yesterday's news'. Later in the episode she goes out for a drink with her ex, Jim.

In Episode 5 'Dead Zone', Kate is pestered by a drunken doctor who believes that the ocean water around the island he inhabits is causing cancer in the townspeople. Kate dismisses him, but as he continues to gather evidence for her she realises that he was right and goes on a crusade to find the truth. She uses it as a distraction from her problems with Mike, who now barely even looks at her.

In episode 6 'The Stinger' she becomes distressed when she fears Jim may be in trouble. When they find him with a serious head-wound she becomes distracted and becomes increasingly annoyed with his insistence that he is fine, even when he is hanging off the side of the boat with his head spinning. The two flirt throughout the episode, making Mike extremely jealous when he overhears. He tells Kate that he thinks she broke it off because Jim was back but she dismisses him, choosing not to answer him. She later accepts a dinner date from Jim.

Throughout the rest of the season Kate pursues a relationship with Jim. At first it was nothing more than a distraction from Mike but as the season progresses, genuine feelings between them grow.

In episode 11 'The Morning After', Kate allows herself to be referred to as 'my girlfriend' by Jim, and is publicly kissing him, and while she still has feelings for Mike, she is falling for Jim too.

In episode 12 'Saving Ryan', she is extremely ill, battling nausea and dizziness which puts her on light duties. Swain checks her over and gives her a pregnancy test to use so they can eliminate it as a possibility. She postpones using it for as long as she can, but eventually she tells Mike that it came back negative after he relays rumours of her pregnancy to her. However the audience do not get a glimpse of the pregnancy test, leading to speculation that the test is actually positive, aided by the fact that as soon as she denies it, she asks Mike "out of curiosity, how would you feel if I was [pregnant]?" If nothing else, it confirms speculation that Kate was sleeping with Jim.

In the series finale 'One Perfect Day', Jim proposes to Kate on the deck of the Hammersley. Before she can give him an answer they are interrupted, and they are called in to intercept a terrorist attack on Cairns. The attack is stopped but Jim dies trying to disarm a bomb along with Swain before she is able to give him an answer, although Kate says she realised after trying on a wedding dress that she didn't love Jim enough to marry him.

Following the last episode of Sea Patrol, it is shown that Kate and Mike later marry and are expecting their first child. Mike is promoted to Captain and posted back to NavCom. It is not known whether Kate is herself promoted or leaves the Navy.


Australian Active Service Medal Iraq Medal (Australia) Australian Defence Medal

Kate has also been awarded:

  • RAN Principal Warfare Officer badge (PWO) (first seen on her white uniform in Series 5, first seen on her work uniform in Series 3)
  • RAN Sea Readiness badge