I spend a fair amount of time on the water and appreciate your contributions.
To answer part of your question, the examiner cited your patent 4,172,680 as relevant art. This reference appears to have been discovered during the Examiner's search. It appears, however, that this application issued on a first office action allowance.
You could have provided your Australian patent number, or any other equivalent. In other effort, you may look at the US PAIR to check if your patent was considered in the prosecution of US 2011 00086189. Hope this helps.