The Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN) submarine force has exercised responses to the unlikely event of a submarine incident at sea, following a four-week training exercise that demonstrated the submarine escape and rescue capability.
Exercise Black Carrillon 15 saw RAN’s Submarine Force transferring crew from HMAS Rankin with the support of 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.
Submarine Force commander captain Matt Buckley said: "During the series of exercises we were able to re-affirm that our existing capability can save lives in the unlikely event that we ever experience a submarine incident requiring the evacuation of submariners.
"Key exercise outcomes were achieved, and new equipment was proven, validating the process and procedures we have in place to ensure we get the right equipment on-site in a timely manner to enable personnel to evacuate a disabled submarine."
Attended by experts from 12 different submarine operating nations, the exercise also involved the recently acquired Defence Maritime Services operated intervention ship, MV Besant, demonstrating its capability in supporting submarine escape.
In case of real events, Besant will be able to use on board equipment to assess the situation and develop a rescue plan enabling LR5 to commence personnel transfer from the stricken submarine.
Currently, LR5 is transferred to the site using the larger rescue ship MV Seahorse Standard, which is due to be replaced by the new rescue ship MV Stoker in February 2016.
Image: Exercise Black Carillon 2015 participants onboard MV Besant in Cockburn Sound, Western Australia. Photo: © Royal Australian Navy.