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Serco marks 20 years supporting RAN rescue exercises

Serco Australia has participated in Royal Australian Navy Collins Class submarine escape and rescue exercises as part of Black Carillon.

Serco Australia has participated in Royal Australian Navy Collins Class submarine escape and rescue exercises as part of Black Carillon.

Conducted off the West Australian coast, Black Carillon tests Collins Class submarine escape and rescue capability.

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According to Clint Thomas, Serco Defence managing director, Serco’s crew played a critical role in this exercise.

“The Black Carillon exercise is a significant event for Serco each year, and our participation for more than two decades is testament to the strong partnership we have built with Navy,” Thomas said.

Following Serco’s participation in last year’s extensive exercise, subsequent operational activities held this year involved one of the largest Serco-operated ships – MV Stoker.

“Participating in exercises like this helps prepare us for unexpected and emergency situations, like our support for the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) and RAN in a co-ordinated multi-agency medical evacuation of a seafarer last year, who sustained serious injuries during an onboard accident 1,850 kilometres off the West Australia coast,” Thomas said.

The escape and rescue simulation involved deploying a Submarine Rescue System submersible to rescue crew from a disabled submarine before being lifted onto the deck of the MV Stoker.

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“Our rapid response to this situation ensured two senior doctors, a nurse and three other medical staff and their necessary medical equipment, were safely transported to support a planned ship-to-ship medical evacuation,” Thomas said.

A medical team were deployed on board MV Stoker to simulate lifesaving medical techniques designed to address decompression sickness.

The crew were transferred to a decompression chamber without being exposed to outside air pressure – one of the critical dangers faced by submariners.

“Serco is proud to support rescue missions and critical exercises like Black Carillon to help preserve life at sea,” Thomas said.

A subsequent operational activity was conducted throughout April and May to test lessons learnt from Black Carillon while continuing to refine the proficiency of the ship’s professional support crew and further demonstrate Serco’s maritime capabilities.

[Related: HMAS Ballarat refuelled by US Navy]

Nastasha Tupas

Nastasha Tupas

Journalist – Defence and Security, Momentum Media

Serco marks 20 years supporting RAN rescue exercises
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