De-masted yacht search rescue mission ADF

Image credit: Department of Defence


We’re very proud of Jamie Stirling, Canberra-based Field Support Representative and Reservist, for his role as Search and Rescue Mission Coordinator for the ADF response to help rescue two solo round-the-world yachtsmen. Both yachts rolled and were de-masted 3500kms west of Perth in 15m swells with 70+ knot winds. One yachtsman was severely injured.

From the Joint Operations Centre in Canberra, a P-8A Poseidon aircraft was dispatched to La Reunion Island to conduct sorties to help locate the yachts. Other rescue assets included a C-17 that was deploying to Malaysia. It was turned around and tasked to drop a Search & Rescue drift buoy. The C-17 was ultimately not required as an emergency tracking device was activated by the injured sailor. A Gulfstream Global Express from Execujet flew out of Perth to provide initial over-watch. HMAS Ballarat sailed at short notice to pick up the survivors.

Both sailors were rescued with reports that they are both doing well. The Sigma Bravo team commend Jamie’s hard work and achievement as a Reservist.