Ahead of its delivery of a hyperbaric equipment suite to the Australian government, JFD Australia has taken part in a submarine escape and rescue exercise with HMAS Waller, MV Besant and MV Stoker in Western Australia.
The exercise, Black Carillon 2017, showcased the underwater capability provider's ability to save lives in a deep-sea submarine emergency.
A strategic capability partner of the Royal Australian Navy, JFD Australia said it conducted the annual safety exercise with the support of a robust local supply chain which helped deliver and install critical submarine rescue equipment to the two participating ships, MV Besant and MV Stoker.
Launching from the deck of MV Stoker, JFD’s free-swimming LR5 rescue vehicle with a pilot and two crew, was sent down to depths of 400 metres to locate the underwater target seat and simulate the safe “mating” to the rescue seat of a real submarine.
This exercise serves to maintain the submersible’s third party certification ensuring that it is ready and fit for its hazardous duty year-round.
"This year threw up some very tough conditions, the weather was closing in and our operations team, engineers and technicians really needed to put their knowledge and experience to the test," said JFD Australia general manager Toff Idrus.
"That makes the success of this operation even more pleasing and shows that the fast, safe and proven submarine rescue service we have been providing to the Navy for the past decade is still unrivalled."
The fortnight of exercises also included mock rescues in shallower waters of 136 metres, using the RAN submarine HMAS Waller. The LR5 attached or “mated” with the submarine’s hatch several times, which, in a real emergency, would see those on board a disabled submarine safely rescued from the sea floor.
"This year’s Black Carillon exercise was highly successful and clearly demonstrated that we have a capable and reliable Submarine Rescue Suite that is able to respond to a submarine emergency," said the RAN’s Commander of the Submarine Force, Captain Geoff Wadley.
JFD Australia will soon deliver a hyperbaric equipment suite to the Australian government, which will offer lifesaving medical and decompression treatment for up to 65 survivors with room for a further 14 chamber operators and medical staff.
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"JFD Australia has a solid track record in offering a full submarine rescue system from our advanced maintenance and service centre at Bibra Lake, south of Perth that is on standby at all times and ready to respond within 12 hours," said Idrus.