Navy to the rescue of stranded mariners

9 March 2023

The ship’s company of destroyer HMAS Hobart rescued six mariners from a 30-metre motor yacht north of Australia on March 6.

A rigid-hulled inflatable boat (RHIB) was deployed from Hobart in unfavourable conditions to enable the rescue of the crew, who had experienced engine trouble and became stranded in international waters north east of Darwin, near Kolepon (Dolok), Indonesia.

Under the watchful eyes of skilled sailors and officers, the RHIB was launched safely under challenging conditions, effecting the difficult transfer of personnel from the disabled MV Vivierae II.

RHIB coxswain Petty Officer Christopher Keillor said he was excited to be part of the rescue.

“It’s a great feeling to be the operator in a situation like this and achieving the mission of getting people to safety,” Petty Officer Keillor said.

“The training we receive to become qualified as RHIB Coxswains prepares us well for operating in real situations.” 

Hobart’s navigator, Lieutenant Dean Gilbert, was in charge of the safe execution of the rescue.

“RHIB operations require focus and careful consideration of the weather conditions and sea state,” Lieutenant Gilbert said.

“There are a lot of moving parts including providing an effective lee to enable the launch and recovery of the RHIB, to achieve a safe breakaway and recovery under challenging conditions.

“The team pulled together excellently for this rescue and it was great to see us achieve it safely.”



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