The Royal Australian Navy’s Submarine Force has exercised responses to the unlikely event of a submarine incident at sea, after completing an intensive four week training exercise which demonstrated the submarine escape and rescue capability.
During Exercise BLACK CARRILLON 15, members of the Navy’s Submarine Force transferred crew from HMAS Rankin, utilising the James Fisher Submarine Rescue System submersible, LR5.
The exercise also involved two six-person teams escaping from a bottomed submarine using fitted submarine escape equipment. The exercise was also attended by experts from 12 different submarine operating nations.
For the first time, the exercise involved the recently acquired Defence Maritime Services operated intervention ship, MV Besant, which was able to demonstrate the significant capability it brings to submarine escape. Besant would be one of the first vessels on scene in the event a submarine crew needs to escape from the disabled submarine prior to rescue.
If the situation in the disabled submarine is stable, Besant will use on board equipment to assess the situation and develop a rescue plan enabling LR5 to commence personnel transfer from the stricken submarine almost immediately upon arriving at the scene. LR5 is currently transferred to the site utilising the larger rescue ship MV Seahorse Standard.
MV Seahorse Standard is due to be replaced by the new rescue ship MV Stoker, which is currently undergoing final fit-out and is due to join MV Besant at Fleet Base West, south of Perth, Western Australia, in February 2016.
Image: Australian Navy