ABC today reported that “A massive electrical power failure has crippled the Australian Navy’s largest warship as it completes its humanitarian mission to Tonga”.
FILE PHOTO: Australian soldiers and sailors inspect the three Army CH-47F Chinook helicopters embarked on HMAS Adelaide. Photo by an unnamed DFAT staffer.
The ABC report also said “an email sent by HMAS Adelaide’s commander states: “Marine Technical Department have worked throughout the past few days to restore power and get us operational again.””
Shortly before 6pm this evening, Defence put out an official statement, seeking to clarify what it said was erroneous reporting.
“Defence can confirm that HMAS Adelaide has experienced a power outage,” the statement said.
“Back-up power has been activated to restore essential systems.
“The situation is being closely monitored and the safety of the ship and the embarked personnel remains our highest priority.
“Following a number of incorrect reports today regarding HMAS Adelaide, Defence can confirm that;
1. essential functions such as refrigeration and sanitation systems are up and running;
2. food supplies have not been adversely affected as a result of the power outage;
3. HMAS Adelaide is not under tow, nor has it been under tow while in or near Tonga; and,
4. Air conditioning is operational in most areas of the ship.
“Civilian specialists are on route to conduct an assessment of the affected systems.”
Defence also said the power outage had not affected Australia’s ability to support requests from the government of Tonga to assist their recovery efforts.