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Royal Australian Air Force C130H Hercules Assists in Finding Five Missing Solomon Islanders

Santa Cruz Island group (News4us.com) December 7, 2010

Royal Australian Air Force C130H Hercules Assists in Finding Five Missing Solomon Islanders

Royal Australian Air Force C130H Hercules Assists in Finding Five Missing Solomon Islanders

An overnight dash by a Royal Australian Air Force C130H Hercules supporting the Australian Maritime Safety Authority’s Rescue Coordination Centre (RCC) has contributed to the successful rescue of five Solomon Islanders reported missing near the Santa Cruz Island group.

The small boat and missing islanders were observed sheltering on an island by the C130 crew at approximately 11am local time this morning and later successfully recovered by helicopter.

The RAAF crew commenced their search this morning at the request of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority and the Solomon Islands’ Government.

Acting Chief Joint Operations Command Rear Admiral Ray Griggs said the C130 and crew deployed at extremely short notice on the life-saving task.

“Thankfully, the search area was well defined and this, combined with the crew and equipment onboard the aircraft, assisted in efforts to find the missing vessel,” Rear Admiral Griggs said.

“The C130 crew can be very proud of their role in ensuring these five people were safely recovered. The mission highlights our ability to react quickly to a range of different contingencies.”

The C130H Hercules of the Royal Australian Air Force’s No 37 Squadron was fitted with a specialist module to assist with search and rescue and deployed to the search area at the request of the RCC.

For further details about the missing vessel, the extent of the search and the subsequent recovery, please contact the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre – Honiara.


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