Australian submarine helps rescue Indonesian fishermen

Royal Australian Navy’s Collins-class submarine HMAS Farncomb helped rescue an Indonesian fishing vessel crew who were stranded 100 nautical miles from land.

According to the navy, the submarine was en route to Singapore and exercise Bersama Shield when it spotted the fisshing vessel.

As Farncomb approached the fishing boat, a crew member was seen waving a shirt and raising and lowering a flag to attract attention.

Through the use of Indonesian speaking sailors from Farncomb, it became apparent the fishing boat had suffered a mechanical issue, and had been adrift for seven days.

While not able to provide direct support to the fishing boat, Farncomb contacted Indonesian search and rescue agencies to alert them of the situation.

Concurrently, the Norwegian merchant vessel MV Fermita was spotted on the horizon, and Fancomb coordinated the recovery of the crew who were taken to Singapore.

The navy said that search and rescue are not normal operations for submarines, but the safety of life at sea is a key responsibility of all mariners, and the coordinated efforts of Farncomb and MV Fermita have ensured the safe return of the fishermen.

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