RAAF Rescues Sailor in Distress near Lord Howe Island

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

September 7, 2014




The crew onboard a Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) C-130J Hercules transport aircraft helped rescue a lone sailor during a maritime emergency off Lord Howe Island.

The C-130J Hercules from Number 37 Squadron at RAAF Richmond responded to a call for help from the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA). The C-130J was one of four aircraft AMSA called to assist, including AMSA’s Essendon based dedicated search and rescue Dornier aircraft, a civil aircraft and a Customs and Border Protection Dash 8.

The sailor activated his Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) and rescuers found the 10m steel-hull yacht, adrift. The skipper reported that his yacht had lost his rudder.

Using night vision goggles, the C-130J Hercules crew kept a close eye on the stricken yacht as the merchant vessel, LARS MAERSK, arrived in the area to provide assistance.

The operation ended successfully when the man was rescued by the LARS MAERSK, in seas with a swell of up to six metres.

The Chief of Joint Operations, Vice Admiral David Johnston, has congratulated the RAAF crew for their quick action.

“We are delighted that this rescue ended so successfully. Given the relatively high sea state and the fact that this operation occurred in darkness, 37 Squadron at RAAF Richmond should be very proud of their efforts,” Vice Admiral Johnston said.        


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