RAN MH-60R in first rescue mission
HMAS Perth, an Anzac-class frigate of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), and its embarked MH-60R multi-mission helicopter recently supported a civilian search and rescue mission off the Seychelles coast.
During the mission, two survivors were located by the MH-60R Romeo, callsign 'Helicat', with the aircrew then directing a local vessel to the exact location to complete recovery. This marked the first time that an operationally deployed RAN MH-60R has used its sensors and communications systems to coordinate a rescue mission.
HMAS Perth was conducting a logistics and crew respite visit to Port Victoria, Seychelles, when the support request was received from the Seychelles Maritime Safety Agency. The agency called for assistance in the search and rescue of survivors of a capsized fishing vessel around 45km northwest of Port Victoria.
The capsizing occurred late at night, with six people in the water. The frigate immediately began recall procedures and launched its MH-60R at first light. The helicopter found two survivors in a critical condition: an adult and an infant. The survivors have since been stabilised.
After the search and rescue operation, HMAS Perth resumed its counter-terrorist mission.
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