Royal Australian Navy Successfully Demonstrates Submarine Rescue Capability

Training & Education


The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) has successfully demonstrated its submarine rescue capability as part of Exercise Black Carillon 2011-1, which concluded off the West Australian coast on Friday.

The exercise, which commenced in mid-May, is designed to test and demonstrate the RAN’s submarine escape and rescue capability in a realistic scenario and is a requirement of the RAN’s submarine safety program.

The method of submarine escape exercised as part of Black Carillon 2011-1 involved personnel transferring from a bottomed submarine into the James Fisher Submarine Rescue Service (JFSRS) rescue vehicle, the LR5, for transportation to a vessel at the surface. At depth, the mating of the LR5 rescue vehicle to the submarine requires a high level of expertise and proven technology.

Upon being recovered to the surface, the rescued submariners were tended to onboard the rescue mothership, in this instance the Vessel of Opportunity Seahorse Standard, with specialised RAN medical teams and equipment embarked. The submarine rescue capability proven during Exercise Black Carillon 2011-1 involved simulated medical scenarios both in the ‘disabled submarine’ and on the surface.

Commander Submarine Force, Captain Brett Sampson, said that the completion of a complex submarine rescue scenario proves that submariners should be confident in the submarine rescue capability provided by the RAN.

“Black Carillon is an extraordinarily valuable opportunity to exercise our submarine escape and rescue capability,” said Captain Brett Sampson.

“The successful completion of the submarine escape as part of Exercise Black Carillon 2011-1 proves that the RAN is well equipped to take action to rescue submariners in the unlikely event of a submarine incident.”

Black Carillon 2011-1 is the thirteenth in a series of RAN submarine escape and rescue exercises designed to test and demonstrate RAN submarine rescue capability.


Source: Royal Australian Navy, June 7, 2011;