Navy rescues civvie kayaker from Sydney Harbour during peak hour

A quick, coordinated rescue effort by Royal Australian Navy personnel had a distressed kayaker plucked from icy waters, preventing a potential disaster when they capsized in one of the busiest sections of Sydney Harbour during morning peak time.

CAPTION: Seaman Riley Moreton, Sub-Lieutenant Nathan Rose, Able Seaman Justin Haynes and Seaman Jamie Jackson in a rigid hull inflatable boat at Fleet Base East after assisting a a distressed kayaker in Sydney Harbour. Photo by Leading Seaman Harry Boardman.

Proving their ability to adapt quickly to any challenge, members of the Fleet Support Unit and Port Services East were carrying out routine maintenance of a rigid hull inflatable boat (RHIB) on 7 May when they received an action call from HMAS Canberra.

Learning a member of the public had capsized on the Navy water’s line between Fleet Base East and Fort Denison, the maintenance crew sprang into action to assist the kayaker, who was struggling to right their small craft so it could be towed by another kayaker in the vicinity.

With the distressed paddler already in early stages of hypothermia and battling in one of the most congested morning ferry and shipping lanes in Sydney, the RHIB team quickly prepared for a rescue.

Sub-Lieutenant Nathan Rose, who oversaw the rescue, said with the cold immersion, limited clothing and significant fatigue taking its toll, it was lucky the incident occurred within arm’s reach of professional sailors.

“Navy is an incredibly variable job that provides a myriad of unique opportunities,” Lieutenant Rose said.

“Our members are constantly training, and this incident saw the team come together from the RHIB maintainers and crane operators to the boat crew in order to affect a successful rescue.

“This demonstrates that the training and the team works.”

Also on hand was Seaman Riley Morton, from Port Services East, who said he was confident to see how quickly the skills learned at HMAS Cerberus came through in a crisis.

“You learn all these skills and knowledge at recruit school, but you don’t realise how valuable they are until you need them,” he said.

“The world-class training we received really stays with you and comes back in a crisis.

“We were able to adapt and come to the aid of someone in distress in a calm and professional manner.

“It’s given me a huge boost of confidence for when I deploy.”







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Posted by Brian Hartigan

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

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