Three Australian Navy personnel suffer ‘minor injuries’ after helicopter crashes in Philippine Sea
Three Royal Australian Navy officers have suffered minor injuries after their helicopter crashed over the Philippine Sea overnight.
Defence Minister Peter Dutton confirmed to 2GB on Thursday that the HMAS Brisbane was nearby, and rescued the three navy personnel.
Mr Dutton said an investigation will be carried out urgently to assess “what went wrong”.
“We want to learn the lessons (from this),” Mr Dutton said.
The aircraft was operating from HMAS Brisbane as part of a regional presence deployment with HMAS Warramunga, when the crew were forced to perform an emergency landing in the water.
HMAS Brisbane deployed boats and were able to rescue the crew within 20 minutes.
Commander of the Australian Fleet, Rear Admiral Mark Hammond commended the crews of both ships for their quick response to the emergency.
“The successful rescue is credit to the devotion to duty and skill of the officers and sailors of HMAS Brisbane,” he said.
“Their immediate actions ensured the survival of the aircrew, validating the significant training undertaken in the event an emergency of this nature occurs.”
Both ships continue to search the area for any debris, which will aid in determining the cause of the incident.
Rear Admiral Hammond said as a precaution, flying operations of the MH-60R Seahawk fleet have been temporarily suspended.
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