For more than 20 years, Serco Australia has supported the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) in undertaking the Collins Class submarine escape and rescue exercise, Black Carillon. Conducted off the West Australian coast, exercise Black Carillon tests Collins Class submarine escape and rescue capability. Following Serco’s participation in last year’s extensive exercise, subsequent operational activities held this year involved one of the largest Serco-operated ships – MV Stoker.
Serco Defence Managing Director Clint Thomas, said Serco’s crew did an outstanding job and played a critical role in this exercise. “The Black Carillon exercise is a significant event for Serco each year, and our participation for more than two decades is testament to the strong partnership we have built with Navy,” Thomas said.
The escape and rescue simulation involved deploying a Submarine Rescue System submersible to rescue crew from a disabled submarine before being lifted onto the deck of the MV Stoker. The crew were transferred to a decompression chamber without being exposed to outside air pressure – one of the critical dangers faced by submariners. A medical team were deployed on board MV Stoker to simulate lifesaving medical techniques designed to address decompression sickness. A subsequent operational activity was conducted throughout April and May to test lessons learnt from exercise Black Carillon whilst continuing to refine the proficiency of the ship’s professional support crew and further demonstrate Serco’s maritime capabilities.
“Participating in exercises like this helps prepare us for unexpected and emergency situations, like our support for the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) and RAN in a coordinated multi-agency medical evacuation of a seafarer last year, who sustained serious injuries during an onboard accident 1850 km off the West Australia coast,” Thomas said. “Our rapid response to this situation ensured two senior doctors, a nurse and three other medical staff and their necessary medical equipment, were safely transported to support a planned ship-to-ship medical evacuation.”