5 June, 2023, 1:35 am
Central - 22°C Rain
5 June, 2023, 1:35 am Central - 22°C Rain

ADF to investigate after helicopter ditched near Jervis Bay in counterterrorism training

ADF to investigate after helicopter ditched near Jervis Bay in counterterrorism training

Thursday 23/03/2023
MRH-90 Taipan helicopter was ditched off Jervis Bay.

Two defence force personnel have sustained minor injuries after an army helicopter ditched into the water during routine counterterrorism training near Jervis Bay on the NSW south coast.

All 10 personnel on board the Australian Army MRH-90 Taipan multi-role helicopter were recovered from the water on Wednesday night and assessed at the HMAS Creswell naval academy, the Department of Defence said.

The Chief of Army Lieutenant General Simon Stuart said the incident had the potential to end in "tragedy".

"Quick responses from ADF personnel and emergency services and well-drilled teams prevented a potential tragedy," Chief Stuart said.

"We will conduct a thorough investigation into this incident to determine the cause and ensure the platform remains safe to operate."

Defence Minister Richard Marles said the two injuries involved one person hitting their head and another taking on sea water.

"They're being looked after and essentially people have been able to get out of this without any serious injury," he said.

"That represents an incredible achievement on the part of the crew โ€” this was a textbook response to a loss of power.

"So we should be thankful for the professionalism of the men and women of our Defence Force. In this instance, they responded to a pretty terrifying situation and in the midst of a crisis managed to act in a way which has kept everyone alive."

Witness accounts

Witnesses reportedly heard a "big flash, a big bang, and a bit of fire on top of the chopper" before the helicopter ditched.

Shoalhaven resident Col Evans, who was camping at a popular nearby campsite Green Patch, said he watched the military carrying out exercises in the area last night.

"We were sitting around the campfire, and we actually saw choppers coming overhead and half a dozen guys dangling from ropes from the chopper obviously carrying out an exercise," he said.

"They were only about treetop height, so they were really, really close."

Mr Evans said his wife discovered the downed helicopter early this morning.

"My wife came down to the beach to walk around 7am and said, 'Come on down to the beach. This thing has been beached.'"

The incident site was being contained by the Australian Federal Police and port services personnel.

The training activity has been temporarily paused as a precaution and the MRH-90 Taipan fleet will be grounded while the cause of the incident is investigated, defence said in a statement.

"At this time defence's priority is supporting the ADF members involved in the incident and their families," the department said.

An ACT police spokeswoman said they were assisting the defence-led response to the incident in a support role after receiving a call at 9:10pm.

NSW Ambulance also responded to the incident.

The MRH-90 Taipan has been plagued with issues since the Howard government ordered 46 of the European-designed helicopters in the mid-2000s.

Earlier this year, the federal government announced that the Taipans would be phased out in 2024 โ€” 13 years ahead of the intended end of the project.

Defence grounded some or all of the fleet in 2019, 2020 and 2021 due to safety and maintenance concerns.

Story By: ABC Illawarra / By Claudia Williams, Matt Bevan, and Tim Fernandez

Original Story Link:

Latest Videos

Stay tuned for the latest news on our radio stations

CFL radio frequencies
Girmit Celebrations 2023
The Girmit story isnโ€™t a story confined to one community in Fiji, it is a story that belongs to all of us. This was highlighted by the National ...
9 days ago

Fiscal Review Commitee members, Richard Naidu and Vani Catanasiga appear on fijivillage Straight Talk with Vijay Narayan
Fiscal Review Committee chair, Richard Naidu and senior member, Vani Catanasiga appeared on fijivillage Straight Talk with Vijay Narayan to discuss ...
11 days ago

Prof. Prasad appears on fijivillage Straight Talk With Vijay Narayan
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Professor Biman Prasad appeared on fijivillage Straight Talk with Vijay Narayan
13 days ago
Technical education environment is a disaster โ€“ Prof. Prasad
Acting Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Professor Biman Prasad says the technical education environment is a disaster in this country and the g...
9 hours ago
Continue to work hand in hand to serve the needs of every Fijian - Dr Lalabalavu
Let us continue to work hand in hand, leveraging our expertise, resources, and innovation to create a healthcare system that serves the needs of ...
8 hours ago

More people arrested for illicit drugs over the last 48 hours
Three men were arrested and charged in Nadi earlier this week for unlawful possession of illicit drugs, while more arrests were made in the last 48 ...
8 hours ago

Jeremy Renner Breaks Silence On MCU Future 5 Months After Terrifying Accident
After months of working to recover from his terrifying accident, Jeremy Renner has an optimistic update about his Marvel Cinematic Universe ...
13 hours ago

Business Assistance Fiji and Business Link Pacific focus on grassroots entrepreneur - Chand
The General Manager of Business Assistance Fiji and Business Link Pacific Ramesh Chand says phase two of the Business Link Pacific business support ...
13 hours ago

So much wisdom, knowledge and experience in our communities in terms of sharing ideas โ€“ Prof Prasad
There is so much wisdom, knowledge and experience that our people, our institution and our communities can share in terms of ideas. This was ...
15 hours ago