HMAS Ballarat engaged in a double rescue

The Australian Defence Force is continuing to assist in the international search-and-rescue operation for two yachtsmen following significant damage to their vessels approximately 1800 nautical miles off the west coast of Australian.

CAPTIONHMAS Ballarat ploughs heavy seas towards Amsterdam Island in the Indian Ocean during an international search-and-rescue of two solo yachtsmen on separate distressed yachts. Photo by Able Seaman Christopher Szumlanski.

French fisheries patrol vessel Osiris recovered the injured sailor Abhilash Tomy from his damaged yacht Thuriya, and another sailor, Gregor McGuckin, from a second damaged yacht.

Both sailors were transported to Amsterdam Island yesterday.

Coordinated by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority Joint Rescue Coordination Centre, the Royal Australian Navy’s HMAS Ballarat and a Royal Australian Air Force’s P-8A Poseidon aircraft responded at short notice to help locate both yachts and render assistance.

HMAS Ballarat will reach Amsterdam Island today and will provide medical assistance to the injured yachtsmen.

Chief of Joint Operations Air Marshal Mel Hupfeld said he was proud of the quick and professional response of the ADF.

“Both HMAS Ballarat and the P-8A Poseidon crews deployed at very short notice to support this international search-and-rescue effort,” Air Marshal Hupfeld said.

“I am impressed by their response and appreciate their support, as well as the support of their families, to save the lives of these yachtsmen.

“HMAS Ballarat’s crew had just commenced pre-deployment leave before they depart for the Middle East, and their response in these circumstances was outstanding.

“This was a coordinated effort with the Indian Navy and French authorities, led by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, and I’m glad the ADF could support the safety of life at sea.”

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Brian Hartigan

Managing Editor Contact Publishing Pty Ltd PO Box 3091 Minnamurra NSW 2533 AUSTRALIA

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