Page 12 - Australian Defence Magazine August 2018
P. 12

RAN gives
thumbs up to sub
rescue system
THE RAN and the government have grant- ed the licence to operate new $19.7 million hyperbaric equipment. The license award means that the whole crew of an Australian submarine can be treated at once.
The equipment – a transfer under pres- sure chamber and recompression treatment suite – was received from JFD as part of an existing contract at its manufacturing head- quarters at Bibra Lake, south of Perth.
“Achieving acceptance and global certifi- cation from Lloyds Register is a very rigor- ous and demanding procedure” JFD general manager and former submariner Toff Idrus said. “And what it means for submariners is extremely significant as up to 88 people can now receive life-saving medical treatment in the hyperbaric equipment suite and pres-
The Australian staff who worked on JFD’s rescue system.
12 | August 2018 |
surised transfer chamber at any one time. “When you consider that a Collins-class submarine has a crew of 48 to 60, this new capability is very significant and represents an important milestone for submarine res-
cue in Australia.”
The hyperbaric equipment suite is able to
withstand and operate effectively in rough, continuous seas with swells of 5 metres – conditions not uncommon around the Australian coast. The new kit is the final step in a submarine rescue which begins with rescuing the crew from a disabled sub- marine and transferring them safely into a JFD free-swimming, piloted rescue vehicle which carries them safely to the surface and on to the deck of a rescue ship.
From there, submariners are moved
through the transfer under pressure cham- ber and into the hyperbaric equipment suite with doctors monitoring their wellbeing and helping them overcome any life-threat- ening effects that come from being rescued from pressurised waters.
“Emergencies of this type rely on highly- skilled personnel and world-class equip- ment to bring people who have been un- der pressure at depth to the safety of the surface.It is critical for Australia’s defence capability and national security that we are able to do this,” Idrus said.
The new equipment took two years to build and will undergo further naval testing and evaluation in August, culminating in the annual Black Carillion naval exercises in November.

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