The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) frigate HMAS Perth has been given a helping hand by the RAN supply ship HMAS Success during Replenishment at Sea (RAS) in the southern Indian Ocean.
Both ships are taking part in the search for Malaysia Airlines flight MH-370. Perth has been at sea for several weeks. The refuel provided each ship with the chance to undertake a well rehearsed routine, but one which is always full of potential challenges.
A RAS takes time and the efforts of almost the entire ships’ company. Sailors like Able Seaman Marine Technician Hannah Nadalini join forces to make sure the evolution was completed properly and safely.
“My place during a RAS is on the distance line,” Able Seaman Nadalini said. “Everyone at my station has done this many times but it’s important to work as a team and to focus on the task at hand.”
Nearby, Leading Seaman Boatswain’s Mate Jenna Shiel was on the Gun Direction Platform, preparing to fire a line across to Success to begin the delicate hook-up.
“It’s all about the aim!’ Leading Seaman Shiel said. “A bad shot and the entire process could be delayed – that won’t go down well with my shipmates!” she said.
Throughout the process, however, the search for debris continued. Australian Army Gunner Richard Brown remained on Perth’s forecastle, binoculars at the ready.
Press Release, April 10, 2014; Image: Royal Navy