Royal Australian Navy’s medics in rescue mission

The Australian Defence Force has assisted the Australian Maritime Safety Authority with a medical evacuation off the coast of Western Australia.

Responding to a medical emergency, a sailor suffering a serious medical condition was successfully transferred to Fremantle on 24 November.

Six days prior, a Royal Australian Air Force C-17A Globemaster dropped medical supplies and equipment to a sailing vessel competing in the Clipper Round the World yacht race approximately 1,800 nautical miles off the coast.

Contracted Defence vessel MV Stoker then sailed from Fremantle with four Royal Australian Navy medical personnel, including a doctor to help stabilise and transfer the patient at sea.

Chief of Joint Operations, Vice Admiral David Johnston said the support highlighted Defence’s ability to assist during an emergency in Australian waters.

“This mission, and its success, once again shows that the Australian Defence Force is ready to respond when called upon,” Vice Admiral Johnston said.

“The immediate response provided by our Air Force assets, and Navy’s subsequent maritime support has ensured a positive outcome in challenging circumstances.”

One civilian patient was successfully transferred to medical care and is receiving treatment.
Alan Lloyd, Australian Maritime Safety Authority acting General Manager Response, said the Indian Ocean could be a challenging and remote environment for search and rescue operations.

“This medevac is a great example of how collaboration between search and rescue authorities can overcome such challenges,” Mr Lloyd said.

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