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Department of Defence
Media Release


15/12/2006 MECC 371/06
Defence Media Release



The Royal Australian Navy survey ship, HMAS Melville, has detected transmissions from the locator beacon believed to be from the Black Hawk helicopter that was tragically lost from HMAS Kanimbla on 29 November 2006.

Melville arrived on task during the early hours of Friday morning, 15 December 2006, equipped with a Towed Pinger Locating Drone supplied from the United States Navy (USN), and operated by US Department of Defence civilian contractors. Melville detected the beacon during its first pass over the crash site.


“It is important to understand that we have simply detected the transmission from the beacon. It will take a number of days to now localise the beacon’s position,” said the Navy’s Maritime Commander, Rear Admiral Davyd Thomas.


“At this stage we are unsure of the state of the aircraft or of how complex the terrain on the sea floor is in that area.”



Media note:

Audio grabs from Maritime Commander are available at:





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Issued by Ministerial and Executive Coordination and Communication,
Department of Defence,
Canberra, ACT
Phone: 02 6127 1999 Fax: 02 6265 6946
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