Home' Navy News : March 28th 2013 Contents 05
March 28, 2013
LEUT Andrew Ragless
HMAS Childers and the crew of Ardent Six
have been instrumental in recovering 77 sur-
vivors from wreckage 60 nautical miles north
of Ashmore Island.
Responding to a request from the Rescue
Coordination Centre Australia, via Joint Task
Force (JTF) 639, the Armidale-class patrol
boat recovered all survivors from the broken
up vessel in little more than an hour after
arriving on the scene on March 13.
Commander Northern Command and
Deputy Commander JTF 639 AIRCDRE Ken
Watson said it was a remarkable effort by the
patrol boat crew.
“The speed and efficiency with which
Childers and her crew operated was
impressive to say the least and they should
feel justifiably proud of their efforts,” he said.
“It’s indicative of the hard work and
professionalism demonstrated by all patrol
boat crews in the conduct of maritime border
At 3pm on March 13, the vessel was
sighted by a Customs and Border Protection
Dash 8 aircraft, conducting routine air
surveillance in the area.
Childers was tasked to provide assistance,
and three aircraft and three merchant vessels
were also diverted to the scene to assist.
After the rescue, an Australian Maritime
Safety Authority Dornier aircraft continued
to conduct an aerial search and confirmed no
other people were in the water.
After conducting interviews with
survivors, the crew of Childers were assured
all people had been recovered.
Childers is home ported at patrol boat
base HMAS Cairns.
THE Australian-led multinational
maritime Combined Task Force 150
(CTF 150) has prevented the smug-
gling of more than 1500kg of canna-
bis by sea in the Gulf of Oman.
Under the command of RAN
CDRE Charles McHardie, CTF 150
was carrying out patrols on March
15 as part of ongoing counter-terror-
A helicopter from the Royal Navy
ship HMS Northumberland observed
the crews of two vessels jettison-
ing their cargo as Northumberland
Personnel intercepted, boarded
and searched the suspect vessels and
recovered and seized 120kg of cargo.
The combined quantity of canna-
bis thrown overboard by the smug-
glers and what was destroyed later
by Northumberland was assessed to
CDRE McHardie said the
destruction of the seized cargo
would ensure that it would not fund
the activities of extremists.
“This successful seizure by
Northumberland was achieved
through the hard work and ongoing
cooperation of Combined Maritime
Force’s partner nations,” he said.
“I was advised that the estimated
1500kg of cannabis involved has a
street value of up to US$7.5 million.
“The boarding was conducted in
accordance with international law as
the vessels were of unknown nation-
He said the seizure was anoth-
er step towards ensuring a secure
maritime environment for legiti-
mate mariners in the region and
Northumberland could be proud of
CDRE McHardie is the fourth
RAN officer to command CTF 150.
Drug bust in Gulf
VITAL WORK: HMS Northumberland Royal Marine and Royal Navy boarding teams question the smugglers off
the coast of Oman. Left, the recovered drugs are weighed on board Northumberland.
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