Serco has supported the Royal Australian Navy with an intensive three week submarine escape and rescue exercise conducted off the Western Australian coast. Held in September, Exercise Black Carillion tested submarine escape and rescue capability, and involved the largest and most sophisticated ships Serco operates - the EGS Besant and RGS Stoker.
The simulation involved using a James Fisher Submarine Rescue System submersible, LR5, to rescue the crew from a disabled submarine before lifting it onto the deck of the RGS Stoker. The crew was then transferred to a decompression chamber without being exposed to outside air pressure - one of the critical dangers submariners face. The medical team deployed on board Stoker simulated lifesaving medical techniques designed to address decompression sickness, before a number of the rescued crew members were evacuated via helicopter to Fiona Stanley Hospital.
With up to 70 naval observers from 21 nations on board, as well as Navy medical teams, submariners and the Fleet Commander, both vessels were at maximum capacity throughout the exercise.
The exercise successfully demonstrated the rescue capability of the Australian Navy and Serco Defence’s professional maritime support crew.
Black Carillion was a showcase event for Navy and was first time both Serco vessels operated at their full capability. The exercise culminated with the Asia Pacific Submarine Convention at Fremantle Museum and both ships and their respective submarine intervention equipment were on display outside the convention and open for inspection by the visiting foreign naval representatives.
The successful Black Carillion exercise involving Stoker and Besant is a significant milestone for Serco Defence.