Royal Australian Navy safely evacuated an unwell merchant mariner from the bulk carrier Sea Angel on May 2, about 200 nautical miles off the south-east coast of Victoria.
CAPTION: HMAS Parramatta’s MH-60R Seahawk helicopter winches the patient from the deck of Sea Angel bulk carrier. Photo courtesy of AMSA
Due to the distance offshore and limited daylight, civilian emergency services were not able to conduct a medevac safely and the Australian Maritime Safety Authority Response Centre requested assistance from the frigate HMAS Parramatta.
Parramatta’s MH-60R Seahawk helicopter winched the patient from the deck of Sea Angel for transport to Merimbula airport where he was met by the NSW Ambulance Service.
Commanding Officer HMAS Parramatta, Commander David Murphy, said the ship was well prepared to conduct the evacuation.
“On this occasion the vast distance from shore and limited day light meant that civilian emergency services helicopters were unable to reach the Sea Angel,” he said. “The Navy’s Seahawk helicopter can fly at night and in all weather conditions.
“We continuously train and maintain a high degree of readiness for these types of emergencies. We’re deeply committed to the safety of our fellow mariners and we wish the unwell sailor a speedy recovery.”
HMAS Parramatta, which is based at Garden Island in Sydney, was off the coast of Victoria at the time conducting a period of routine certification training.